The Earliest Known Depiction of Witches On Brooms, and What It Tells Us About Evil

2015-03-22 13.59.07

This marginal illustration comes from Le champion des dames (A Defense of Women) by Martin Le France, 1451. Martin was secretary to both Antipope Felix V and Pope Nicholas V. His work is a 24,000-verse (!) poem extolling the virtues of women, but also condemning heresy and corruption. The witches are identified Vaudois, or Waldensians, who were accused of practicing witchcraft and [Read More...]

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Medieval Warrior Snails

snail

The British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts Blog has an interesting compilation of marginal art depicting knights charging at snails. I’ve seen snails in marginals before, but never realized they were such a persistent motif. The symbolism and placement is still puzzling to many medievalists, particularly since the snail did not have a stable meaning associated with [Read More...]

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