What exactly medieval scholars had against snails is a mystery.
The snails may have been an allusion to the inevitability of death, or a representation of the much-maligned Lombards, the “unchivalrous and treasonous people” who ruled much of the Italian peninsula before their destruction at the hands of Charlemagne. Some scholars argue that the snails were a metaphor for social climbers winning a place with the societal elites, or peasants battling the aristocratic, upper class knights in a medieval class war.
It’s entirely possible that all these scholars are totally overthinking this, and the bored, repressed monks in medieval monasteries just thought killer snails were hilarious. That or snails were just irritating pests. Whatever the reason, these absurdist snails and their medieval foes are found all throughout high medieval literature and manuscripts, often in the company of other strange, unusual and pleasantly horrifying animals (see killer rabbits).
Whether you idealize class struggle, really hate Lombards, think this whole issue is just absurdly hilarious or just have a snail problem, this might be the shirt for you.
Guest Author: Iain Donnelly is a student with a keen interest in both arts and sciences (especially palaeontology and evolutionary biology). He has long been an ardent admirer of trilobites.
|Sleeve length, in||5.04||5.28||5.52||5.75||5.99|