The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries
Based on research in the Inquisitorial archives, the book recounts the story of a peasant fertility cult centred on the benandanti. These men and women regarded themselves as professional anti-witches, who (in dream-like states) apparently fought ritual battles against witches and wizards, to protect their villages and harvests. If they won, the harvest would be good, if t...more
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Night Battles is fascinating. Not so much on a page-to-page level: if anything, it can sometimes get bogged down in individual details there. But it's central conceit is really amazing: it's a study of a group of peas ...more
This book carefully combines an analysis of folklore, popular tradition, and culture. In the Friuli region of Italy, a group known as the “benandanti” (literally “well-farers” or “good walkers” but literally translated he ...more
Night Battles is about a small society of people discovered and investigated by the religious authorities; a people who shared a bizarre set of spiritual beliefs. In the lat ...more
In questo libro, circa 250 pagine di piccolo formato, il più originale storico modernista italiano in attività, ricostruisce una vicenda di ritualità magica, senza fronzoli, ma con grande rigore filologico.
E' stato il primo a ri-scoprire questi tipetti dei benandant ...more
Essentially, Ginzburg is considering the strange cult of the Benandanti - a select group of persons (all born in a caul) who, as adults, would be called on t ...more
"Anna la Rossa was trying, it would appear, to alleviate her own and her family's poverty by exploiting an extremely common but also insatiable desire, the longing to know something about the fate of a departed loved one (and linked with the hope of life beyond the tomb), mingled inextricably with the instinctive inability to think of a dead human being without restoring to it the life it no longer possessed ...more
Carlo Ginzburg provides a fascinating window into how high learned culture and popular culture affected one another in the early modern world. The benandanti were members of an old fertility cult in northern Italy whose participants believed their souls left their bodies to fight witches at night, the victor ...more
Ginzburg is clearly the authority and has establish a reputation as one of the most learned scholars in matters of inquisition and witch hunt. His narrative, which is presented in a more or less linear manner (one story leads to another in a very conscise way) and is tied together by the depositions of the accussed, mostly peasants, in north ...more
The narrow subject matter deals with the agrarian cult in Fruili called the benandanti. They have been recorded in depositions by the Holy Office from around 1400s - 1600s. The book deals with the roots of this fertility cult and its folklore, to a time when it was moulded to fit Christian motifs and ideas.
I found it interesting and the chapters are bite size (though the paragraphs can be long). The book did not have a satisfying c ...more
As always, when a history book reports the voices of the people, such as verbal of inquiries of the Inquisition, I love it. This one is about popular myths in Friuli (Northern Italy).
|Black Maven: The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries||1||9||Aug 17, 2011 11:04AM|