Fancy pants

October 20, 2010

So, what’s the weirdest claim about the Middle Ages on Wikipedia? As you may remember, that’s what Carl Pyrdum over at Got Medieval tried to figure out in his “Weird Medieval History Contest”. As you may also remember we were part of the contest’s panel of judges which, after carefully weighing all the arguments, has now come to a decision: And the winner is [dramatic pause to increase suspense] proclaimed here.

(As an illustration for this post the above image is, of course, a bit random. It’s a 14th century fresco from Vienna’s Michaelerkirche showing the church’s patron saint, the archangel Michael, weighing a different kind of arguments. He’s trying to figure out whether the souls on his scales should go to heaven – as represented by the Virgin Mary on the right – or to the gentleman on the left. Granted, for being the devil, the latter doesn’t seem too spectacular but if you take a closer look you’ll realize that he’s wearing his fancy pants with extra faces where you wouldn’t naturally expect them:

And, by the way, the image is also a tip of the hat to our friend Racaire who linked to a more recent photo of the very same devil in a comment on our blog only last week. From her pic, however, it appears that most of the fresco is currently hidden behind scaffolding so I thought it opportune to display that devil in his full anatomical glory…)

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