January 16, 2013

A cartoon from 1233.



I'm fascinated by the school lesson material at the U.K. National Archive site. That cartoon is from one titled "A Medieval Mystery" that asks students to "decode the dark secrets of this cartoon" and offers tips on things to look for (e.g., devils) and prompts with questions like "How has the cartoonist shown that the man and the woman are Jewish?"

25 comments:

Rusty said...

By having the devil point at their noses?
In 1492 Columbus was discovering the new world and the King of Spain was kicking the Jews out of Spain and who ever was in charge of Ireland was kicking the Jews out of there too.

Emil Blatz said...

Large probosci? Do I win anything for that?

chickelit said...

Genetic phenotype?

Robert Cook said...

By their nose ye shall knows them!

mccullough said...

I dig the quatrefoil tracery

Mitchell the Bat said...

Kings sure looked funny back in those days.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Some early relatives of Cedarford created this?

President-Mom-Jeans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Not pointing, the devil is touching them on the nose.

The Inquisition, wotta show
The Inquisition, here we go

Irene said...

Is it a "cartoon?" I'm not sure it was meant to be funny. It more likely served as an illustration for those people who couldn't read.

Lem said...

C4 alert.

YoungHegelian said...

Neo-cons on the loose in 1233 Merrie Olde England?

I mean, who knew?

Ann Althouse said...

"s it a "cartoon?" I'm not sure it was meant to be funny. It more likely served as an illustration for those people who couldn't read."

How do you define cartoon? I think the word extends to representations like this, but the word wasn't in the English language until after this thing was drawn, according to the OED.

The oldest meaning of "cartoon" has to do with a plan for a painting.

There's also the word "comic," which books like "Understanding Comics" take way back in history. If I remember correctly, both words are not limited to things that are trying to be funny, and the basic distinction is between a series of panels (a comic) and a single drawing (a cartoon). Thus, "The Far Side" is a cartoon and not a comic.

Levi Starks said...

"How has the cartoonist shown that the man and the woman are Jewish?"

Objection your honor, leading the witness

Irene said...

I wrongly assumed a "cartoon" was meant to be funny or satirical.

It would be good for the school lesson materials to raise the meaning of "cartoon" among the questions.

lemondog said...

Edict of Explusion

In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England.

lemondog said...

Link
Edict of Explusion

BarrySanders20 said...

Because his head looks like a big circumcised pennis*?

*Olde English spelling for schlong.

Speaking of wood, maybe because he has that Woody Allen-look of angst? Woody was quite the rage back then, very popular with the movie-going English commoners you know.

CptParlay said...

Cartoons were sort of preliminary sketches in the olden days. One of the prized possesions of the Royal Art Collection is their 600 Da Vinci cartoons.

Penny said...

Too taxing.

William said...

It's hard to believe that from this humble beginning, Steamboat Willie flowered.

David said...

Of course, only those aware of the nez slur will get the reference.

kentuckyliz said...

The gold Star of David sewn on their lapels?

kentuckyliz said...

The serial numbers tattooed on their forearms?

Tim of Angle said...

Don't know about the woman, but the man is wearing a medieval "Jew hat" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jew_hat).