Why So Many Medieval Manuscripts Depict Violent Rabbits?

Medieval art sure is weird. We’ve already featured People Happily Dying, Battle Snails and Cats Licking Their Butts galleries. For some strange reason medieval artists also loved painting violent rabbits on a murderous rampage. If you have any idea why, please leave a comment below.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

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Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

Rabbits were really violent in medieval times.

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177 Comments

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  1. Anonymous December 9, 2019

    I think it is all about revenge!

  2. Anonymous December 9, 2019

    …I came to comments to see answers, but i’ve read 20 answers in one page and they all say differently…

  3. Storio December 9, 2019

    It may be a medieval representation of Spanish men. Effectively the word “Espania” means “land of rabbits” due to what discoverers have sawn when they first arrived on these lands!

  4. Anonymous December 9, 2019

    When the un-initiated are permitted to collect mushrooms…..

  5. Somerhill December 9, 2019

    Have you actually handled rabbits? They can bite, kick violently, and scratch with sharp claws. They are hardly helpless little creatures.

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  6. King Arthur December 9, 2019

    Nothing the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch could not take care of.

  7. Anonymous December 9, 2019

    Medieval artists were funnier and more irreverent than we’d imagined. Good for them.

  8. Anonymous December 10, 2019

    Amazing how many people are willing to guess and hw few are willing to look it up.

  9. Author of "BunRabs" December 11, 2019

    Beware of carnivorous bunrabs!

  10. Anonymous December 11, 2019

    BunRabs can be found in Tales of Humorous Horror.

  11. Anonymous December 12, 2019

    obviously, Hoops are real.

  12. Leslie December 14, 2019

    So the titanic fight against a bunny in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” film was actually based on academic truth?

    Wow!!!!

  13. Anonymous December 15, 2019

    Snail people. I saw at least 2 snail people.

  14. Dr. Pretorious December 16, 2019

    The “artist” were Christian monks who would have known the hare & coneys from biblical scripture. In Deuteronomy and Leviticus the hare is uncloven and therefore unclean. But the coney (conny) in the British Isles is often associated with Solomon’s reference to being “wise but feeble“. The coney-catchers was an Elizabethan literary analogy to describe theft or trickery .

  15. Anonymous December 16, 2019

    They don’t like dogs very much either

  16. Anonymous December 19, 2019

    Rabbits Vs Dogs

  17. Anonymous December 22, 2019

    Rabbits were basically a symbol of cowardice, submission, sometimes femininity, etc. So these lethal warrior bunnies were a (usually literally) marginal way of depicting a reversal of the status quo.

    I have wondered if anyone has ever properly researched which symbols appear next to which text. In other words, there are texts with “normal” rabbits in the margins, and then there are texts with reverse mutant rabbits in the margins. Could this be a subversive encoded way of annotating the text to indicate whether or not the illustrator was “on board” for whatever was written?

  18. leviticus December 23, 2019

    at least one rabbit is NOT murderous. third from bottom.

  19. Crystal December 23, 2019

    Have y’all never watched Watership Down….watch it before your kids do….but it’s still good….it’s a cartoon…,my kids liked it

  20. Totterkopter December 24, 2019

    Medieval peta

  21. Kim December 24, 2019

    Watership Down is interesting. I liked it, not for real young kids though. Was banned from elementary schools I thought (The book was)

  22. Anonymous December 25, 2019

    Snails as mounts in jousting matches? Even more odd than the violent rabbits.

  23. Anonymous December 25, 2019

    Rabbits represent
    Fawking
    Fawking kills
    Especially in medieval times
    Stds killed, childbirth killed you..
    Fawkin Rabbits!!!!

  24. Marguerite December 26, 2019

    I was just thinking revenge against humans and hunters, but I guess that’s too simple.

  25. Kym December 28, 2019

    Always knew they were evil little bastards 🤣🤣

  26. Anonymous December 31, 2019

    KYOOT

  27. Anonymous January 1, 2020

    Hi Dad, it’s son. I saw the art💎😊 I saw a man I saw a ⚔️

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