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Why were medieval knights always fighting snails ?

09/25/2016

After a rather prolonged absence from the blog, I’m returning with a question which captured my interest and made me think that perhaps this is something that should concern me, even if the marginalia in medieval manuscripts is not my day-to-day reading matter. Which sadly it isn’t…

The Smithsonian magazine is posing the question, and apparently there has been much scholarly debate surrounding the question, but rather disappointingly there is no definitive answer.  The Smithsonian and the British Library (from one of whose 13th century manuscripts the image below comes) have given us some suggestions, including that the snail represents the Resurrection, or the inevitability of death, or the Lombards. Or that it could just be a joke…..

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-were-medieval-knights-always-fighting-snails-1728888/?no-ist

http://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2013/09/knight-v-snail.html

snail

 

 

 

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