1521- : Cartoon wars

The pope’s birth according to an anti-Catholic pamphlet from 1545 (Public Domain)


Thanks to the printing press, the confessional wars of the Reformation become the first testing ground for political and religious memes. Europe is awash with cartoons of ridicule and (literal) demonisation. Here are a couple of examples.


The pope is depicted as a donkey with scales and breasts. The flag in the background shows the papal coat of arms (Public Domain)


Luther helps the devil stir the cauldron of heresy