Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

How do you spice up the dull task of copying line after line of a medieval manuscript? Some monks added lighthearted touches to the marginalia of their manuscripts by doodling murderous beasts, penis monsters, and lots and lots of butts. Some images below are NSFW.

Walking Fish from a 13th-century English Bible

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Foxes vs. Monkeys from a 13th-century Bible

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Got Medieval)

An Ethiopian beast named Anabula, which looks like a sad elephant from Liber de nature rerun, France, c. 1290

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Monk fighting off some devils with a club, from the Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Medieval Fragments)

Snail vs. Knight, from The Smithsfield Decretals, decretals of Gregory IX, Tolouse, c. 1300. Illuminations were added about forty years later in London.

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

No one knows exactly why were these snail images so popular, but here are some theories.

(via Discarding Images)

Rabbits killing men in The Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Demonagerie)

Cats vs. rabbits, headless people, and a lion playing the violin in the Breviary of Renaud de Bar, France, 1302-1303

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Got Medieval and Medieval Fragments)

Long Neck, from Book Of Hours, England, early 14th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Cats doing cat things: sleep, play with mice, and take an unhealthy interest in caged birds from a medieval bestiary

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Bestiary)

An angry chef with a big knife, from The Luttrell Psalter, 1325-1335

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Muckley)

An ape killing a man with a big axe

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Medium Aevum)

The Flying Green Penis Monster, from Decretum Gratiani with commentary of Bartolomeo de Brescia, Italy, 1340-1345

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

A cheeky interloper in left margin, from Vows of the Peacock, c. 1350

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via io9)

Hellmouth, from the Taymouth Hours, 14th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Got Medieval)

Penis tree from a 14th-century copy of the Roman of the Rose

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

A rabbit with axe, in Gorleston Psalter, England, 14th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

A tasty donut in Les Grandes Heures du duc de Berry, Paris, 1409

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

A monkey is doing something in a late fifteenth century edition of Jean de Wavrin's Anciennes et novellas chronicles d'Angleterre

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Got Medieval)

Melancholic cat plays the lyre in a Book of Hours from France, 15th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

The Thinker Monkey, from the Breviary of Mary of Savoy, Lombardy, c. 1430

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Aliens with a to-do list and a whip, in Livres du roi Modus et de la reine Ratio, France, 15th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

People and Sea Devils, from Histoire de Merlin, by Master of Adelaide of Savoy in Poitiers, around 1450-1455

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Demonagerie)

Hi, do you want my broom? Illustration from Traité des quatre dernières choses by Jean Le Tavernier, c. 1455

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Demonagerie)

A Dalmatian Sea Monster, an illustration by Poggio Bracciolini, added to a copy of Le Miroir du Monde, mid-15th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Cat playing a bagpipe in a Book of Hours, Paris, c. 1460

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Arrow in the ass

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Got Medieval and Lapham's Quarterly)

What are you doing here, dragon? An illustration from Les faize d'Alexandre (a translation of Historiae Alexandri Magni of Quintus Curtius Rufus), Bruges, c. 1468-1475

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Smiling skeleton, from Ars bene moriendi, France, 1470-1480

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Monkey prank, from Recueil des croniques d'Engleterre, Bruges, 1471-1483

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Teletubbies in a basket, in Le Livre des hystoires du Mirouer du monde, Paris, 15th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Discarding Images)

Demons in a castle, from Le mister par personages de la vie, passion, mort, resurrection et assention de Nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ, 1547

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Demonagerie)

Creepy People on a map, from Cosmographie universelle, 1555

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Demonagerie)

Not exactly a garden party, from Wunderbarliche, doch wahrhaftige Erklärung von der Gelegenheit und Sitten der Wilden in Virginia by Theodor de Bry, c. 1590

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Smithsonian Libraries)

A bird-like demon with a smaller fighting demon and a woman in his basket, from Nürnberger Schembart-Buch, 17th century

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

(via Demonagerie)