KNIGHTS FIGHTING SNAILS. Annalisa sent me a link to this article by Colin Smith at the Smithsonian website. Apparently there are lots of drawings of knights fighting snails in the margins of medieval manuscripts. This article by Carl Pyrdum at the Gotmedieval site has some more illustrations from manuscripts. Pyrdum says: “They’re everywhere! Sometimes the knight is mounted, sometimes not. Sometimes the snail is monstrous, sometimes tiny. Sometimes the snail is all the way across the page, sometimes right under the knight’s foot. Usually, the knight is drawn so that he looks worried, stunned, or shocked by his tiny foe.”

One theory is that people in medieval times thought that the image of a knight fighting a snail with its own armor was funny. Another theory, which Giovanni Grosskopf espouses at this site, is that the drawings reflect “a Eurasian children’s rhyme about the snails.”

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