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The Edit Wars Saga
Episode I: The Phantom Stub
Today's Featured Article - Medieval Marginalia
In a world without the benefit of the internet it could take decades for cat memes to circulate throughout Europe while an email could take several months to deliver - a speed surpassed by AOL as long ago as 2014. So how could news be efficiently spread to an illiterate, turnip-obsessed public? The answer was to use illustrations to convey complex ideas. Chaucer himself records the latest treatise on hamster rearing arriving in Chichester and the peasantry pouring over its sage advice even while they coughed out their intestines during the Great Scratching Sickness of 1364.
Hygiene standards were low in the Medieval World, leading to endemic dysentery and a consequent chronic paper shortage. Scribes took the sensible decision to pass on their knowledge in the spaces alongside the script of a popular self-help book of the day, The Holy Bible. The superstitious psycho-babble of this frankly bizarre publication now seems as incomprehensible as it is dated, but the wisdom of the Medieval Marginalia often hidden in its darkest corners speaks to us down the ages. (more...)
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