How do you spice up the dull task of copying line after line of a medieval manuscript? Some monks added lighthearted touches to the marginalia of their manuscripts by doodling murderous beasts, penis monsters, and lots and lots of butts. Some images below are NSFW.

Walking Fish from a 13th-century English Bible

(via Discarding Images)

Foxes vs. Monkeys from a 13th-century Bible

Advertisement

(via Got Medieval)

An Ethiopian beast named Anabula, which looks like a sad elephant from Liber de nature rerun, France, c. 1290

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Monk fighting off some devils with a club, from the Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

Advertisement

(via Medieval Fragments)

Snail vs. Knight, from The Smithsfield Decretals, decretals of Gregory IX, Tolouse, c. 1300. Illuminations were added about forty years later in London.

Advertisement

No one knows exactly why were these snail images so popular, but here are some theories.

(via Discarding Images)

Rabbits killing men in The Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

Advertisement

(via Demonagerie)

Cats vs. rabbits, headless people, and a lion playing the violin in the Breviary of Renaud de Bar, France, 1302-1303

Advertisement

(via Got Medieval and Medieval Fragments)

Long Neck, from Book Of Hours, England, early 14th century

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Cats doing cat things: sleep, play with mice, and take an unhealthy interest in caged birds from a medieval bestiary

Advertisement

(via Bestiary)

An angry chef with a big knife, from The Luttrell Psalter, 1325-1335

Advertisement

(via Muckley)

An ape killing a man with a big axe

Advertisement

(via Medium Aevum)

The Flying Green Penis Monster, from Decretum Gratiani with commentary of Bartolomeo de Brescia, Italy, 1340-1345

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

A cheeky interloper in left margin, from Vows of the Peacock, c. 1350

Advertisement

(via io9)

Hellmouth, from the Taymouth Hours, 14th century

Advertisement

(via Got Medieval)

Penis tree from a 14th-century copy of the Roman of the Rose

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

A rabbit with axe, in Gorleston Psalter, England, 14th century

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

A tasty donut in Les Grandes Heures du duc de Berry, Paris, 1409

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

A monkey is doing something in a late fifteenth century edition of Jean de Wavrin's Anciennes et novellas chronicles d'Angleterre

Advertisement

(via Got Medieval)

Melancholic cat plays the lyre in a Book of Hours from France, 15th century

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

The Thinker Monkey, from the Breviary of Mary of Savoy, Lombardy, c. 1430

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Aliens with a to-do list and a whip, in Livres du roi Modus et de la reine Ratio, France, 15th century

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

People and Sea Devils, from Histoire de Merlin, by Master of Adelaide of Savoy in Poitiers, around 1450-1455

Advertisement

(via Demonagerie)

Hi, do you want my broom? Illustration from TraitÊ des quatre dernières choses by Jean Le Tavernier, c. 1455

Advertisement

(via Demonagerie)

A Dalmatian Sea Monster, an illustration by Poggio Bracciolini, added to a copy of Le Miroir du Monde, mid-15th century

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Cat playing a bagpipe in a Book of Hours, Paris, c. 1460

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Arrow in the ass

Advertisement

(via Got Medieval and Lapham's Quarterly)

What are you doing here, dragon? An illustration from Les faize d'Alexandre (a translation of Historiae Alexandri Magni of Quintus Curtius Rufus), Bruges, c. 1468-1475

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Smiling skeleton, from Ars bene moriendi, France, 1470-1480

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Monkey prank, from Recueil des croniques d'Engleterre, Bruges, 1471-1483

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Teletubbies in a basket, in Le Livre des hystoires du Mirouer du monde, Paris, 15th century

Advertisement

(via Discarding Images)

Demons in a castle, from Le mister par personages de la vie, passion, mort, resurrection et assention de Nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ, 1547

Advertisement

(via Demonagerie)

Creepy People on a map, from Cosmographie universelle, 1555

Advertisement

(via Demonagerie)

Not exactly a garden party, from Wunderbarliche, doch wahrhaftige Erklärung von der Gelegenheit und Sitten der Wilden in Virginia by Theodor de Bry, c. 1590

Advertisement

(via Smithsonian Libraries)

A bird-like demon with a smaller fighting demon and a woman in his basket, from NĂźrnberger Schembart-Buch, 17th century

Advertisement

(via Demonagerie)