Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 2013

Journal or Book Title

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft

Volume

8

Issue

1

First Page

4

Last Page

17

DOI

10.1353/mrw.2013.0013

Abstract

This article takes its starting point in a story from a famous fifteenth-century sermon against sorcery by Bernardino of Siena. The story involves a solitary page travelling through a rural area who finds a group of people dancing on a threshing floor; at dawn, all the dancers vanish but one one girl to whom the page is holding fast. This girl is not treated by Bernardino as a sorceress, though the larger context of the story makes the absence of the perception of sorcery something of a puzzle. In search of possible origins for this story, the author examines an array of parallels, suggesting ultimately that Bernardino’s story could be linked to actual folk practices that involved nocturnal dancing.

Comments

This article is from Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 8 (2013): 4-17, doi:

10.1353/mrw.2013.0013. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

University of Pennsylvania Press

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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