Why Knights Fought Snails in the Margins of Medieval Books

Look in the margins of medieval books and you’ll find an unusual theme: knights vs. snails. Vox’s Phil Edwards investigates why in this episode of Vox Almanac.

Scholar Lilian Randall provides the best theory for the unusual motif: these medieval knights fought snails in the margins because snails represented the Lombards, who had become widely despised lenders throughout Europe. Snail was an insult and, over time, it became a type of meme detached from its original meaning.

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