Satan is Just a Little Blond Girl in Pigtails Handing Out Fruit

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The Temptation is much easier to understand when you look at it this way: Although, yeah: the snake body thing should have been a dead giveaway. Think about it, though: we have nasty visual images of Satan in our mind because artists need to convey evil visually, but Paul tells us that Satan himself masquerades as [Read More...]

Incredibly Beautiful: The Prayer Book of Claude de France

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The Morgan Library has put up a digital facsimile of this tiny prayer book, along with an excellent illustrated lecture on its significance. The book is a companion to the Book of Hours, and is less than 3″x2.5″  in size with dazzling illuminations.  The Morgan describes this recent aquisition as a tiny, jewel-like manuscript that [Read More...]

A Monk and a Nun in the Stocks

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He’s just grateful his name isn’t Abelard.   [Read more...]

“In Search of Steve Ditko”

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I took my son and a friend to the Philadelphia Comic Con last Saturday, so I’ve spent the last few days immersed in classic comics. That got me to poking around the web, and I stumbled upon “In Search of Steve Ditko,” a documentary from the BBC in which Jonathan Ross explores the strange world [Read More...]

Always Bring Your Weasel to a Basilisk Fight

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If only this man had remembered to bring his weasel when he decided to draw on a basilisk… From Pliny’s Natural History: There is the same power also in the serpent called the basilisk. It is produced in the province of Cyrene, being not more than twelve fingers in length. It has a white spot [Read More...]

The Round Book: Codex Rotundus

Coming from Bruges at the end of the 15th century, the Codex Rotundus is a 266-page miniature Book of Hours in Latin and French. The pages are only 9cm across.   [Read more...]

Jesus–The Revenge!: A Medieval Drama

Signs and portents warning of the destruction of Jerusalem .

The British Museum recently acquired a beautiful illuminated manuscript of a fairly obscure mystery play called Mystère de la Vengeance de Nostre Seigneur Ihesu Crist. In English: Mystery of the Vengeance of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh yeah, now we’re talking. I can see the movie poster already. “He’s back, and this time … it’s personal.” [Read More...]

Medieval Book Shrines

Medieval Fragments has a terrific, well-illustrated post on book shrines: shrines designed to look like books. Called a cumdach, the book shrine was a kind of reliquary contains pages from books associated with saints, and occasionally first class relics: Usually quite small, they served as a portable vessel meant for the preservation of a sacred [Read More...]


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