15 Hilarious Real Complaints Medieval Scribes Left in Their Margins

Public Domain / ChurchPOP

For centuries, the most important writings of Western civilization were faithfully preserved by the hands of monks.

It’s hard for us to imagine today, but even super-long books like the Bible were copied entirely by hand. And the monks and priests who did it did a great job! But that doesn’t mean they weren’t still human.

Sometimes, a scribe would leave a short note in the margins. Examples include things like, “St. Patrick of Armagh, deliver me from writing,” “The parchment is hairy,” and “Oh, my hand.” Lol!

Below are 15 REAL quotes from medieval margins:

“Oh, my hand.”

“I am very cold.”

“Now I’ve written the whole thing… give me a drink!”

“That’s a hard page and a weary work to read it.”

“Let the reader’s voice honor the writer’s pen.”

“This page has not been written very slowly.”

“The parchment is hairy.”

“The ink is thin.”

“Thank God, it will soon be dark.”

“Writing is excessive drudgery. It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach and your sides.”

“St. Patrick of Armagh, deliver me from writing.”

“While I wrote I froze, and what I could not write by the beams of the sun I finished by candlelight.”

“As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.”

“This is sad! O little book! A day will come in truth when someone over your page will say ‘The hand that wrote it is no more.'”


Lol! Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!




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