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Kirk K.





Joined: 24 May 2016

Posts: 74

PostPosted: Fri 27 May, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: So *that* is where the 'killer rabbit' meme originated!         Reply with quote

A bit of Medieval history, monks drawing strange and lurid cartoons, and rabbits laying waste to their enemies with weapons. Reality is stranger than fiction. Best keep your Holy Handgrenade close at hand.

https://boingboing.net/2016/05/25/why-medieval-monks-filled-manu.html
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Ben Joy




Location: Missouri
Joined: 21 May 2010
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Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri 27 May, 2016 9:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, I knew that the monks (and just about any literate person who handled books and had writing implements nearby) put drawings and comments in the margins. However, I had no idea about the specific history of the killer rabbits. Stickhare . . . I'm going to need to remember that one.

Anyway, thanks for the share. It really makes you wonder if the Monty Python crew knew about this when they did the killer rabbit scene, or if it's sheer coincidence because they thought having a killer rabbit would be the most unexpected and hilarious thing they could use.

"Men take only their needs into consideration, never their abilities." -Napoleon Bonaparte
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 27 May, 2016 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We'll not risk another frontal assault. Those rabbits are dynamite! Wink
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 28 May, 2016 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's not unlikely that the Monty Python members had encountered the rabbit marginalia. The reason I say this is because some of the animated scenes have artwork that is stylistically similar to 13th century and early 14th century manuscript illuminations. The killer rabbits illustrations seen within the article, along with others like them, fall within that timespan.
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Gregg Sobocinski




Location: Michigan
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat 28 May, 2016 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent stuff, there! I had never seen those images, nor had I heard the background behind them.
Thanks for sharing.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 28 May, 2016 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've heard that whenever a monk decided to draw a murderous rabbit in the margins, he told his companions that he was having a bad hare day.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sat 28 May, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Wiki page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_of_Caerbannog
Quote:
The tale of the rabbit has a parallel in the early story of the Roman de Renart in which a foe takes hubristic pride in his defeat of a ferocious hare:[12]

Si li crachait en mi le vis
Et escopi par grant vertu
[13]

The idea for the rabbit in the movie was taken from the façade of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. This illustrates the weakness of cowardice by showing a knight fleeing from a rabbit.[14]


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Paris_-_Cath%C3%A9drale_Notre-Dame_-_Portail_du_Jugement_Dernier_-_PA00086250_-_154.jpg

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sat 28 May, 2016 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eh, what can we say, if you are isolated from society and required to hand copy several hundred to thousand page documents with ink and quill, I bet all of us would draw weird stuff to alleviate the sheer tediousness of the task.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 960

PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2016 3:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Eh, what can we say, if you are isolated from society and required to hand copy several hundred to thousand page documents with ink and quill, I bet all of us would draw weird stuff to alleviate the sheer tediousness of the task.

My grade and high school notebooks (and textbooks, for that matter) would concur. Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2016 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of scribes couldn't read. They simply copied the letters one by one. If they weren't told what the text was about it is unlikely that their doodles would have any relevance to the subject in the text. As Philip said, they'd just draw random weird stuff in the margins to alleviate the boredom.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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