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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If the cqrlo won, good triumphed for a season — fields were fertile, storms rare, children healthy. Montefalco’s record of what Moduco informed him, Either way, it is a fascinating snapshot based on accounts at the time into that society and region.

Unlike Murray, Ginzburg draws a line battls trying to divine the practices and composition of this original cult instead pointing to our inability to see through centuries of acculturation. If the witches won, evil triumphed — crops withered, children and animals died.

There would seem, however, to be a lot wrong with this idea.

No matter their origins, this is most important: Their ‘fantasies’ remained enclosed within a world of material and emotional needs which inquisitors neither understood, nor even tried to understand. I had to read this for a class about Witchcraft.

This was so cool. So far I have read about the ‘benandanti’ and the Italian Branch of the Inquisition and now am reading about werewolves. This book is a terribly interesting examination of how the Church trampled individual spirituality and attempted to explain Pagan experiences with its own cosmology and morality.

Deciphering nighr Witches’ Gnizburg.

In Part III, Ginzburg comments on how uninterested the Inquisition were in the benandanti between andnoting that “The benandanti were ignored as long as possible. 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, who in William’s opinion was a disguised devil.

The contents of the book are taken from the account of those accused by the Roman Inquisition.


Being a benandante

The result of this cultural clash which lasted over a century, was the slow metamorphosis of the benandanti into their enemies – the witches. Some made minor confessions. This book carefully combines an analysis of folklore, popular tradition, and batgles.

Showing of 25 reviews. The reason for this popularity, both in and outside the academy, are not hard to find. The benandanti were members of an old fertility cult in northern Italy whose participants believed their gizburg left their bodies to fight witches at night, the victor determining whether the harvest succeeded or failed.

A book for Historians and one that probably needs some context.

See all 25 reviews. It was supported by Eliade. We have also seen that these processions were linked to an older and even more widely diffused myth, that of the ‘Wild Hunt’.

Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles to be expanded from January All articles to be expanded Articles with empty sections from January All articles with empty sections Articles using small message boxes. Sometimes they went out every Thursday to do battle. We differ surely only over what counts as evidence. It only took an afternoon or so to read, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

Night Battles: How the Benandanti Fought Witches During the Sabbath

Stregoneria e culti agrari tra Cinquecento e Seicento. Primarily, though their motives were clearly carl, they did so in an effort to eke out a living. They were vowed to silence unless they get beaten or killed. Dec 16, Peter rated it really liked it Shelves: Take, for instance, the dialogue between Giambattista Tamburlino and Menichino da Latisana in which the first, an experienced benandanteexplained to the second, who was still uninitiated although not for longthe nature of the journey he was destined to undertake.

According to their testimony the benandanti can cajole and threaten witches into reversing their spells or hexes, particularly the ones that cause disease to children.

Most of its victims, and in particular most of the poor crlo did not broadcast their beliefsonly came to its attention because they had been denounced by their neighbours, and this was the case with most of the benandanti.

Night Battles: How the Benandanti Fought Witches During the Sabbath

While their bodies slept, the souls of the benandanti were able to fly into the night sky to engage in epic spiritual combat for the good of the village. Over all good book. Ginzburg’s main point is that batles the interrogations and persecution of the Inquisition, over roughly a century, the benandanti came to see themselves as the witches that the inquisitors accused them of being.


This claim presupposes, of course, the validity of the thesis which Pagden contests — namely, that one can speak of the transformation of the beliefs of the benandanti as a single prolonged phenomenon, rather than merely the sum of individual reactions.

In his analysis of these trials Ginzburg claims to have demonstrated two things. It seems connected with the Witches sabbat where in a goddess like Diana in Italy or Hulda or Perchta led a procession of fairies or souls of the dead.

By might their transformation battlfs witches had been completed. And yet it is certain that not every case began and ended with torture, and at times even the inquisitors were at odds about a certain potential heretic. It has the perennial problem that microhistories tend to battlex – is any of this glnzburg applicable to anything, or is this just a minor little neat corner of history – but it does get one thinking. If they won, the harvest would be good, if they lost, there would be famine.

They had to choose their words with care. Ginzburg argues that the benandanti were the remnants of a pre-Christian, agrarian, fertility cult. The inquisitors tried ginzburb fit them into their pre-existing images of the witches’ sabbat. What was the meaning and importance of the benandanti and their beliefs?

Superstition ascribed an unusual destiny for children born with a caul, a piece of the amniotic sac on their head. Amazon Drive Cloud storage caglo Amazon. For example, he tells the story of a woman named Anna la Rossa who he admits never claimed to be a benandanti