Thursday, January 24, 2013

How Early Modern Animal Jetpacks Went Viral

Alexis Madrigal, over at The Atlantic, has a post up about a 16th-century German manuscript image. The image, below, is from a German manuscript, Feuer Buech, about warfare tactics and weaponry. 

The image of feline- and avian-powered incendiary devices [so sad!] has been swirling around the Twitter- and Tumblr-verses for a few months. You can see here how it was tweeted, tumblr-ed, and then eventually picked up by The Atlantic. This trajectory is a great illustration of how social media, open access policies, and the digital humanities are making medieval and early modern manuscripts available to huge audiences. Fantastic!

Feuer Buech, Germany, 1584. Ms. Codex 109, Philadelphia, UPenn Library.

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