From the same manuscript as last week’s azz-tappers,* allow me to present another famous first, the first monkey superhero:
What’s this? Another monkey, so soon after the last? And no substantive posts between marginalia? I’m in danger of falling into a rut. A monkey shaped rut. If only I hadn’t talked about Matthew Paris, I could pretend I was doing a theme month. Ah, lost opportunities.
In the main illumination in the lower left corner, we have a medieval commonplace, King David pointing at his eye to illustrate the Psalm 26:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” That’s God there, poking his head in through the clouds, and David indicating that he could not see without God’s light. This probably looked a bit less silly to the medievals, who were intimately acquainted with their psalms and who took the promise of God’s light a bit more literally than we might expect. You cannot see without light, so David is thanking God for allowing him to see.
Up above, a man in red appears to be trying to eat his way into the picture from the margin, but is soon to be thwarted by our intrepid monkey’s axe. He certainly cuts a dramatic figure there, his cape flying behind him in the breeze, doesn’t he? No theological content here, unless we are meant to think that God’s salvation might take the form of a be-caped monkey.
Someone should get DC and Marvel on the phone. They’ve been trying to trademark the word “super-hero” for some time. This qualifies as prior art, doesn’t it? Actually, on second thought, don’t. I’m putting the monkey up on my Cafe Press store, and I don’t want them sending any cease and desists my way.**
*There are enough strange monkeys just in this one manuscript, that it should be called “The Monkey Psalter.”
**If you’ve not checked the store lately, you may be surprised to see I’ve added a few other monkey magnets.