Poking fun at knights

“Normal” folk in medieval times loved to make fun of those silly knights. At the centre of all this mocking were jousting tournaments, where knights in polished outfits pretended to fight one another under the shrieks of kings and maidens. And so the books of less violent readers were adorned with images like this one: two knights on rams attacking each other while wearing wicker armour. This medieval Yoda image is another great example of such mocking of the nobility. However, the real fun here is that the owner of this particular book was a cathedral’s dean – named John Colet. As it happens, members of the Church were in turn mocked in books owned by knights and other nobel readers (check out this image for example). And so everybody had a good laugh about everybody. Medieval book decoration as the ultimate stress relief.

Pic: London, British Library, Royal MS 1 E.v (early 16th century). More information about (and more shiny images from) this book here.



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