Six images of the medieval scribe at work.
Was the slanted desk top ergonomic? Did it strain his wrists? Was it
an artistic convention to portray it that way?
Irish scribes routinely complained in marginalia of cold, bad light,
poor ink, inferior vellum, and generally of their bouts of ill
health. Off hand, though, I know of just one scribe who complained
about a muscle cramp, but it may be telling:
"Na tabrad aon da leigfe so guth [ar] in leitir sin, oir do crap in
cusli agam le imarcad mogsaine."
"No one who reads this should blame the lettering, for my wrist /
forearm has cramped from too much toil."
Annals of Loch CÚ, ii. 328