Battle of the Cyclops Bands, from a manuscript of the late eleventh century.

A rebec-player “shreds” (to use the medieval term) on his instrument, while his opponent, an avistrangulator or bird-throttler, prepares to dispatch him.


  1. How appropriate for Thanksgiving Week, here we see two gentlemen celebrating the fact that this particular Turkey will NOT be receiving a presidential pardon.

  2. RS Colby says:

    I got this astonishing result from google:

    Your search – avistragulator – did not match any documents.


    Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
    Try different keywords.
    Try more general keywords.

    • Shouldn’t it be avistrangulator, not avistagulator? That n in the middle makes all the difference.

      • Dr. Boli says:

        Absolutely right, of course. Correction made, and thank you very much.

        • Well, congratulations. This is now the ONLY page on the entire internet (or at least that portion of it searched by Google) to include the term “Avistrangulator”. You, sir, have coined a new word. I have not witnessed a feat of invention this profound since the webcomic “Darths and Droids” was the first to publish online the phrase “Jar Jar, you’re a Genius!”

          And given the slang meaning of “choking the chicken”, you also seem to have not just coined a new word, but a new term for mankind’s oldest and most favorite pastime.

  3. Robert St. Agamemnon-Fargy says:

    This illustration also demonstrates how far we have advanced in both the manufacture and playing of musical instruments. Gone, thankfully, are those days when one had to play the lute with a hacksaw, or exhale into the beaks of various fowl, all the while gesturing threateningly with a blade to make them cooperate. Could Harry James have played “Ciribiribin” with one hand on the neck of a peacock whilst the other held a scimitar? Hardly.

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