Mmm… Marginalia: Medieval Binge Drinking

Just a quick post for this week. Please find enclosed an image from the famous Luttrell Psalter, currently housed at the British Library. You may have asked yourself sometime, did the Middle Ages know how to party? Let me answer that with this:

Even though he’s been stabbed with a stick, this fellow here is not going to let that get in the way of getting his drink on. Toward the end of the night, he’s probably going to end up like this guy, who graces a margin a few pages later:


The British Library’s website touts the Psalter as a depiction of the “rich panorama of medieval life.” But their list of notable scenes fails to mention the drunken blue guy being hauled around on a stick. Oh, and that red thing to the right? That’s the arm of a scary monster. Poor blue guy is being toted off to his death. What jerks his friends are.

Let this be a lesson, kids. Don’t get so drunk that painting yourself blue seems like a good idea, unless you want to end up as Monster Chow.

UPDATE: I’m not sure if this is really neat or really scary, but apparently The Luttrell Psalter: The Movie just finished filming and will be available on DVD later this year. Dare we hope for L2: Domesday or Luttrell 2: Electric Boogaloo in Summer 2010?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Henrik

    A long time favourite, the top picture.

    I saw this described as:

    “An unidentified drinking game of skill”

    …in one certain book about eating and drinking in the Middle Ages.

    Unidentified? Hehe… 😀

  • Brendan M

    Does the pouring fellow have a toilet stuck to his ass?

  • Got Medieval

    I does look a bit like the medieval version of the Stadium Buddy, but I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be his pointy-hooded cowl that he’s tucked into his belt.

  • henchminion

    Love those illustrations.

    I think the object sticking out of the drinking dude is the sheath of his knife protruding through the slit of his surcote.

  • Got Medieval

    You’re right about that, henchminion. A few other men elsewhere in the MS show similar protrusions.

  • Brendan M

    The movie is being sponsored by Terry Jones.

  • Kate

    Are you sure that’s a knife in the first picture? It really does look like a toilet seat. I’m talking about the pourer on the left, not the pouree on the right.

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