THE NIGHT BATTLES: WITCHCRAFT & AGRARIAN CULTS IN THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES
Book Details + Condition: Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD). First Edition thus, 1983. Hardcover with dust jacket. 209 pages, with Appendix, Notes and Index. Translated from the Italian by John and Anne Tedeschi. Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg studies the benandanti folk custom of 16th and 17th century Friuli, Northeastern Italy – he examines “the trial accounts of those benandante who were interrogated and tried by the Roman Inquisition, using such accounts to elicit evidence for the beliefs and practices of the benandanti. These revolved around their nocturnal visionary journeys, during which they believed that their spirits traveled out of their bodies and into the countryside, where they would do battle with malevolent witches who threatened the local crops. Ginzburg goes on to examine how the Inquisition came to believe the benandanti to be witches themselves, and ultimately persecute them out of existence. Considering the benandanti to be ‘a fertility cult’, Ginzburg draws parallels with similar visionary traditions found throughout the Alps and also from the Baltic, such as that of the Livonian werewolf, and also to the widespread folklore surrounding the Wild Hunt. 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”. [Wikipedia]
From the massive occult collection of King Lawrence Parker - academic, dissertation author, and book collector extraordinaire. In very good condition, with firm binding; Parker's bookplate to inside front board; interior is clean and free of markings. Dust jacket shows minor shelf wear, with a bit of discoloration.