I mentioned my hunt for a good digital copy of this week’s image back when I discussed the political implications of the mural at Massa Marittima, and now at long last, here it is. From BnF MS Fr. 25526, a 14th-century copy of the Romance of the Rose:
Why is the nun out collecting male tackle?
Well, it probably has nothing to do with witchcraft, even though the Malleus Maleficarum mentions that witches have the power to detach a man’s danglies. Rather, it’s probably just your run-of-the-mill joke about how lusty women (or, in this case, nuns) are.
Now, whenever I post an image like this, I tend to get incoming links from people shaking their heads at “those repressed medieval monks scribbling naughty things in the margins of manuscripts.” And that always annoys me, because 1) these manuscripts weren’t usually made by monks. Most of the images in my Mmm… Marginalia series were produced by professional commercial scriptoria staffed with secular illuminators who market these books to very rich laypeople. And 2) even though some medieval monks might have been sexually repressed, don’t forget, we moderns trot out stuff like this every Halloween:
Mote, beam, eye, and all that.
Now, for those of you now convinced that this blog has no shame and the blog’s bloggist has no sense of propriety,* please note that I did not use the penis-plucking nun as my Valentine’s Day marginalia, instead opting for the much tamer King of Love. I’m the very model of restraint, I am.
Oh, and as a bonus, here’s the same image from a contemporaneous wooden altar carving:
*And no, this wasn’t all some clever ploy to try to up my Google rankings by bringing in all those people searching for “hot sexy nun porn!!!!” either. I repeat, if you’re looking for “hot sexy nun porn” Got Medieval is not for you. Please go elsewhere for all your “hot sexy nun porn” needs, for they will not be satisfied by this blog and its decidedly un-”hot sexy nun porn” focus. Also, if you want to “get whiter teeth without expensive visits to the dentist” or “buy gold at cost” or “lose weight following one simple rule just like area mom,” this blog won’t be of much help there, either. Just to be clear.
Manuscript image via Culture and Questions Qui Font Debats.