You’ve seen SCA scrolls with miniatures, but you’ve never seen anything like THESE before!

In the interest of keeping this a family-friendly site, we’re only using images that qualify as G, PG, or PG-13. But trust us, our medieval ancestors were… earthy… folk. Sometimes with a twisted sense of humor.

These images are from actual medieval manuscripts, and are usually referred to as grotesques or drolleries. They often appear in the margins of 13th-15th century manuscripts.

We’re not sure what this beastie is, but we’re glad someone has it under control, even if riding it naked looks like an ill-advised plan.


Is this break dancing or yoga?

-2-Breakdancing Salome Marginalia

Talk about angry birds….

-3-angry bird

There’s one in every crowd. Sometimes two.

-4-funny faces This looks like proof that “Grays” visited us long before there was an Area 51.

-5- gray

The original Pushme-Pullyu, only backwards:


Our ancestors seem to have had a strange fear of giant rampaging snails.

-10-snail -9-snail -7-snail

They also seem to have believed that bunnies were going to take over the world, or maybe kill us all in our sleep.

6-bunny processional 6-bunnies-1-bunny hunters

Or maybe bunnies and snails will just go after each other.


And then there are women using their distaffs in battle.

3-distaff -2-distaff -1-distaff

There are also some pretty wacky human-animal hybrid critters:

-5-weird-grotesque_flutist_french_illuminated_manuscript_illustration_1408_ms_douce_144_f_28v_ -2-weird

And then there are the ones that defy description:

-3-weird    -4-weird

-1-weird      -6-weird

Happy April Fool’s Day!

It’s all Arianna’s fault.

Images are taken from the Macclesfield Psalter, the Luttrell Psalter, the Croy Hours, the Gorleston Psalter, the Rutland Psalter, the Vaux Psalter, the Missale Romanum of Amiens, and Le Livre du Lancelot du Lac.

Yes, real medieval manuscripts. And we didn’t even include the really creepy ones.