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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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marginalia

Doodles discovered in Henry VIII’s prayer book reveal Henry VIII, seen here in a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger, may have suffered from depression. Source: Public domain /CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 /CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Doodles in Henry VIII’s Prayer Book Reveal Anxiety and Depression

Best known for his six marriages and a notorious clash with the Pope over annulling his union with Catherine the Aragon , Henry VIII's reign was marked by tumultuous events, both historically and...
A grotesque image of an ogre shooting an arrow into another creature’s rear from the Rutland Psalter, c. 1260. (British Library Royal MS 62925, f. 87v.)

20 Bizarre, Crude and Downright Weird Sketches in Medieval Manuscripts

Many medieval manuscripts are works of art with devotional passages written in careful calligraphy, accompanied by vivid illustrations and ornate, decorative borders. But equally captivating is the...
Depiction of a knight vs snail battle from Brunetto Latini's Li Livres dou Tresor from circa 1315 to 1325. Source: British Library

Medieval Manuscripts Are Full of Knights Fighting Snails

The next time you’re looking through an illuminated manuscript, keep an eye out for images of medieval knights fighting off snails. Of all the villains in the world, these may not have been the first...
Killer rabbit in the Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300, British Library, London, UK. Detail. (British Library/CC BY 4.0)

Killer Rabbits Terrorized the Pages of Medieval Manuscripts

In early medieval art and literature fluffy white rabbits, bunnies, and hares were typically motifs of innocence, venerability, and purity. However, more in sync with these animals’ rate of...
Hanging out in the margin of an illuminated manuscript

Beautiful, Decorative, and Sometimes Crude: Illuminated Manuscripts and Marginalia

Illuminated manuscripts are manuscripts that are covered with painted ornaments presented under several forms. These documents are perhaps most commonly associated with the European Middle Ages...
Drolleries were common in medieval manuscripts.

Drolleries of the Middle Ages Included Comical Yet Sinister Killer Rabbits and Erotic Art

A drollerie (also spelled as drollery) is a type of marginalia found on Medieval manuscripts. Drolleries are amusing, often grotesque, figures drawn on the edges of manuscripts and may be found in...