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Alan
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My first thought is that "snail" must have had a second meaning at the time, based on either a snail's characteristics (armored like a knight, btw) or perhaps some pun. What would future scholars think if they saw an illustration of a young man attempting to escape - or, alternately, embracing - a cougar? or perhaps some enigmatic illustration that included an aquatic mammal that builds dams? what is the significance of one character being made to look like a tortoise, and the other a hare? And when Bugs Bunny disappeared in one cartoon, why did a bottle of "Hair restorer" bring him back? Of course, the world today is fairly well-documented and if that documentation survives they will be able to figure it out pretty quickly - but if this was so widespread and not documented I would guess that the knowledge was widespread at the time, and might be something off-color.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2013 on Knight v Snail at Medieval manuscripts blog
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Sep 28, 2013