Category Archives: Marginalia

Judgmental Augustine: Peter Lombard Gets it Wrong

St Augustine Objecting in Lombard's Gloss of the Psalms

Medieval marginalia is most known for being bizarre and offensive. It frequently is, but not always, particularly in earlier manuscripts. In the mid 12th century, Peter Lombard wrote a gloss of the psalms. That is, he created pages that displayed both the text of the Book of Psalms and his theological commentary on the text, which included frequent references to other respected theologians. Occasionally, however, Lombard got his sources mixed up. The book was commissioned by Thomas Becket, the Archbishop

The Great Naked Battle for the Gazebo

Where the Wind Things Are

This little gem comes from Grumpy Eleanor of Aquitaine on Facebook.  My apologies for not knowing the original source.  Grumpy Eleanor doesn’t list them.  Often I can Google them, but finding appropriate keywords for this one is difficult.  I am guessing it’s a 15th century something. Rarely is there so much win in a single image.  First, the similarity to the illustrations of Where the Wild Things Are are pretty epic.  Second, I truly appreciate the defender’s sense of decorum

Introducing Marginalia

Marginalia is any content existing within the margins of a book. In more modern books, marginalia is generally the notes an owner has scribbled to himself. Books with the marginalia of famous thinkers can become quite valuable. In the Middle Ages, however, marginalia was an art form. It was planned out as part of the page design. Some of it is abstract decoration. But a lot of it is composed of people, animals and monsters often behaving quite oddly, often