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20 Bizarre Examples Of Medieval Marginalia

Yo, medieval scribes: no one's going to read the text you so painstakingly lettered if you continue to draw weird and dirty pictures in the margins. Well, I guess you're all dead, so we can't fix this now, can we?

1. A penis tree / Via

From a 14th century copy of Romance of the Rose.

2. A monkey with an arrow stuck in its butt / Via

From Bibliothèque Mazarine MS 520.

3. Ass arrows, again


From the Rutland Psalter, c. 1260.

4. An inappropriate rabbit / Via

From Breviary, Use of Verdun c. 1302-1305.

5. Another inappropriate rabbit / Via

From Bodleian Library’s MS Douce 5.

6. This obviously boneless individual

7. An ape bludgeoning a man with an axe

8. Whatever's going on here

9. Creative, naked nose picking? / Via Flickr: medmss

From Book of Hours, Walters Manuscript W.102, fol. 92v.

10. A man voiding his bowels

11. An amputee brawl / Via

From Bodleian Alexander (MS Bodl. 264).

12. Ape sodomy / Via

From Bodleian MS Douce 6.

13. The guy on the left / Via

From The Vows of the Peacock c. 1350.

14. Ass trumpets


From The Vows of the Peacock c. 1350.

15. Man riding a head toward a naked woman

16. Hellbarrows / Via

From The Taymouth Hours.

17. Nom nom nom / Via

From The Taymouth Hours.

18. THIS GUY / Via

From Codex, with gloss of Accursius, MS Canon. Misc. 495.

19. Babies torturing a naked man / Via

From Breviary, Carthusian use. MS. Canon. Liturg. 410.

20. A snake man playing the bagpipes with his anus

From Pierpont Morgan Library’s MS G24.