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Manuscript Royal 10 E IV is one of the items listed in Randall [1], hence I was curious to see it. It is known as the Decretals of Gregory IX with glossa ordinaria (the ‘Smithfield Decretals’) and originated in southern France during the last quarter of the 13th century or early 14th century.

Folio 45r is a bas-de-page scene of a man and a large snail. The man has a big club in his hand, but it is not raised and it seems as if he withholding himself. The snail is disproportionally big, stylised, with all four tentacles and a sinistral shell. An example of the ‘frightening snail’ theme.

BLL Royal10EIV_f45_BLL Royal10EIV_f45_detail

Folio 107r has the ‘knight v. snail’ theme where I was looking for. The knight defends himself with his shield against one of the two largest tentacles, which acts a lance. The snail of monstrous proportions has also two small tentacles, but is otherwise stylised and has a sinistral shell. The whole scene is yet another  variant of the ‘frightening snail’ theme.

BLL Royal10EIV_f107r_BLL Royal10EIV_f107r_detail

Folio 107v shows on the lower part two running snails together with a stag (an adult male deer). The snails are both stylised, one with two tentacles only and an eye-spot, the other with two larger and two smaller tentacles, eating from a leave. Both shells are dextral.

BLL Royal10EIV_f107v_BLL Royal10EIV_f107v_detail1BLL Royal10EIV_f107v_detail2

Notes:
[1] Randall, L.C. (1962). The snail in Gothic marginal warfare. Speculum 37: 358–367. Several of the mss. listed in her work are not available online unfortunately.
[2] BLL, Ms. Royal 10 E IV, 314ff. http://bit.ly/KXxKu2 (25.i.2014).

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