The Night Battles. Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Carlo Ginzburg with a new preface translated by John and Anne C. In The Night Battles, Carlo Ginzburg looks at a small group of northeastern Italian people from the area of Friuli who claimed to be ‘benandanti.’ The benandanti. The Night. Battles. Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries. Carlo Ginzburg. Translated by John & Anne Tedeschi. On 21 March.

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InCohn asserted that Ginzburg’s discovery had “nothing to do” with the theories put forward by Murray. He furthermore argues that these Late Medieval and Early Modern accounts represent surviving remnants of a pan-European, pre-Christian shamanistic belief concerning the fertility of the crops.

The Night Battles : Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Instead you get to see the actual trials of the benandanti–a group of people nivht the Friuli region who fought against witches, but then came to be seen as witches through the Inquisition’s manipulative tactics.

Often times they would question them and then let them go.

There, they would ‘battle’ with witches armed with sorghum sticks. Brown believes microhistory acts as a “powerful corrective” to “skepticism” and reestablishes history as an “authoritative source of truth.

In the lat This was so cool. Night Battleslike The Cheese and carpo Wormsis also nighg tour de force of reconstruction, building out of scattered and fragmentary sources a whole world for the reader to inhabit.

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The victims, for their part, knew full well that they were in considerable danger, possibly of death and certainly of torture, confiscation, humiliating public nigght, exile or excommunication. The Night Battles is divided into four chapters, preceded by a preface written by Ginzburg, in which he discusses the various scholarly approaches that have been taken to studying Early Modern witchcraft, including niht rationalist interpretation that emerged in the 18th century and the Witch-cult hypothesis presented by Margaret Murray.

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Superstition ascribed an unusual destiny for children born with a caul, a piece of the amniotic sac on their head.

It was written by the Italian historian Carlo Ginzburgthen of the University of Bolognaand first battes by the company Giulio Einaudi in under the Italian title of I Benandanti: It’s like every historian’s dream, to find some nutty little group like this to write a book about. Ginzburg does, unfortunately, make a lot of claims that cannot be substantiated.

Carlo Ginzburg’s research is distilled into very readable and accessible prose. Most were poor, some destitute or women afflicted by domestic problems. To view it, click here. The outcome of the battle would destine the region to a fertile harvest or a period of famine.

Night Battles: How the Benandanti Fought Witches During the Sabbath

According to William’s account, this creature travelled through houses and cellars at night, accompanied by her followers, where they would eat or drink whatever they found; Ginzburg noted parallels with the benandanti belief that witches would drink all of the water in a house. Four times a year they would go out for battle, the ember days.

In The Night Battles, Carlo Ginzburg looks at a small group of northeastern Italian people from the area of Friuli who claimed to be ‘benandanti. But first let me dispel any suggestion that my praise of his literary gifts was in some sense intended to devalue his equally considerable historical ones. Ginzburg then highlights the 11th-century account produced by French Bishop William of Auvergnein which he had described a folk belief surrounding a female divinity named Abundia or Satia, ginznurg in William’s opinion was a disguised devil.

Their ‘fantasies’ remained enclosed within a world of material and emotional needs which inquisitors neither understood, nor even tried to understand.

In the case of the benandantiwhat the Inquisitors wanted to know, what indeed they battlfs to have set out to establish, was the association between these supposed anti-witches and the witches themselves.


I also really liked The Cheese and the Worms: Between the Living and the Dead: Where in the mind of this man did the frontier between the world of the body and the world vinzburg the spirit lie? There are witches, werewolves, and fortune tellers all over these pages.

The Night Battles

In the Archepiscopal Archives of Udine, Ginzburg came across the 16th and 17th century trial records which documented the interrogation of several benandanti and other folk magicians. In nihht new preface, Ginzburg reflects on the interplay of chance and discovery, as well as on the relationship between anomalous cases and historical generalizations. My class tore this book to pieces but honestly, I kind of liked it.

They were vowed to silence unless they get beaten or killed. Battles Margaret Murray had [postulated that therer was an ancient pagan religion of Europe that was goddess and agricultural based that prdated Christianity. At their sabbats they would dance, sing, drink and eat among other things. It is true that, as Pagden says, one witness said of one female benandante: AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally.

We are therefore, it seems to me, not entitled to assume that all those who go in procession with the dead are also benandanti. In exploring this subject Ginzburg grants some truth to batles idea of an ancient pre-Christian, fertility cult originally posited by Bqttles. In the woods the spirits of the benandanti would meet the witches in the throes of their Sabbath.