eklogai

polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: nature

Ludovico Valletta, De Phalangio Apulo 76

“With regard to the astonishing and complex agitation of the entire body, not long ago I personally saw a woman stricken with the poison who, although prey to the delirium of a violent fever, and her mind possessed with horrible phantasms – or rather, she was assaulted by a host of insolent demons – at the sound of the musical instruments she nonethless abandoned herself to a dance that was so excited, to such a frenetic agitation of her limbs and whirling her head, that my own head and eyes, enthralled by the same agitation, suffered from dizziness. This woman had suspended a rope from the ceiling of her humble dwelling, the end of which, just touching the floor in the middle of the room, she tenaciously squeezed between her hands; throwing herself upon it, she abandoned herself with the weight of her whole body, her feet planted on the floor, turning her head to and fro, her face glowing, with a surly look. I was deeply astonished, not being able to explain why the dizziness provoked by that rapid and violent head shaking did not make her reel and fall to the ground. Due to this agitation and the incredible exertion borne, the woman’s whole body and above all her face were covered with abundant perspiration; reddened by such strenuous agitation, she ran gasping to a great tub full of water prepared at her request, and she completely submerged her head in it, whence the cold water gave her some relief from the heat with which she blazed.” – Ludovico Valletta, De Phalangio Apulo 76

Athanasius Kircher, Magnes sive de arte magnetica opus tripartitum pg. 759

“Some tarantati let themselves hang from the trees by ropes, showing great enjoyment at such suspension – those stricken with this passion are usually the ones bitten by tarantulas in the habit of hanging the strings of their webs from trees.” – Athanasius Kircher, Magnes sive de arte magnetica opus tripartitum pg. 759

Ludovico Valletta, De Phalangio Apulo 92

“The families of the tarantati hire the musicians, to whom many gifts are given and a great deal of drink is offered in addition to the daily compensation agreed upon, so that they may take some refreshment and thus play the musical instruments with greater vigor. It follows that a man of modest conditions, who laboriously earns a living with the diligent fatigue of his arms, in order to be cured of this illness, is often forced to pawn or sell objects of fundamental necessity, even if his household furnishings are shabby, in order to pay the aforementioned payment. It must be considered that no one would want to expose himself to this misfortune if he could combat the poison in another way, or if he did not feel compelled to dance from the bottom of his heart. I will spare the details of the many other aids and expedients the poison victims use to raise and cheer their melancholy spirits during the dance, items also needed for one reason or another. For instance there are artificial springs of limpid water constructed in such a way that the water is gathered and always returns to flow anew; these springs are covered and surrounded by green fronds, flowers and trees. Further, lasses dressed in sumptuous wedding gowns have the task of dancing with the tarantati, festively singing and playing the same melody with them during the dance; then there are the weapons and the multicolored drapery hung on the walls. All of these, and many others, cannot be procured without payment.” – Ludovico Valletta, De Phalangio Apulo 92

Ludovico Valletta, De Phalangio Apulo 77ff

“The tarantati rejoice at the sight of limpid waters, of artificial springs that flow with a soft murmur into a tub prepared for this purpose, gratifying themselves with the green fronds freshly picked from the trees and strewn here and there in the space dedicated to the dance in order to represent a forest.” – Ludovico Valletta, De Phalangio Apulo 77ff

Q. M. Corrado, De copia latini sermonis 171

Tarantati are attracted to water, to springs, to a green branch, to all pleasant things.” – Q. M. Corrado, De copia latini sermonis 171

Nicola Caputo of Lecce, De Tarantulae anatomie et morsu pg. 201

“They customarily adorn the bedroom dedicated to the dance of the tarantati with verdant branches outfitted with numerous ribbons and silken sashes in gaudy colors. They place similar drapery throughout the room; sometimes they prepare a sort of cauldron or tub full of water, decorated with vine leaves and green fronds from other trees; or they make pretty fountains of limpid water spout, capable of lifting the spirits, and it is near these that the tarantati perform the dance, seeming to draw the greatest delight from them, as well as the rest of the setting. They contemplate the drapes, the fronds, and the artificial rivulets, and they wet their hands and heads at the fountain. They also remove damp bands of vine leaves from the cauldron and strew them all over their bodies, or – when the vessel is large enough – they plunge themselves inside, and in this way they can more easily bear the fatigue of the dance. It often happens that those who go dancing through the towns and hamlets accompanied by the usual music are brought to an orchard, where, in the shade of a tree, near a pond or brook offered by nature or prepared through craft, they abandon themselves to the dance with the greatest delight, while groups of youths in search of pleasure and pranks gather near. Among the latter mingle more than a few who are approaching old age and who, contemplating with serious curiosity the melodic frolicking, seem to exhort the youths with unspoken admonishment.” – Nicola Caputo of Lecce, De Tarantulae anatomie et morsu pg. 201

Gervase of Tilbury, Otia Imperialia 3.60

“Here is another thing, no less wonderful and quite widely known, which happened in Great Britain. There was a hunting-forest in Gloucestershire teeming with boars, stags, and every kind of game commonly found in England. In a leafy glade of this forest was a hillock, which rose to a man’s height at its highest point. Knights and other hunters used to climb up on top of the hillock whenever, worn out with heat and thirst, they sought some relief from their discomfort. Now given the right combination of place and circumstances, if anyone strayed a long way from his companions and climbed it alone and then, though alone, said ‘I’m thirsty’ as if he were speaking to someone else, at once, to his surprise, there would be a cupbearer standing at his side, in rich attire, with a merry face, and holding in his outstretched hand a large horn, adorned with gold and jewels, such as is used by the old English as a drinking-vessel. Some nectar of an unfamiliar but delicious taste would be offered him. When he had drunk it, all the heat and weariness of his sweating body would leave him, so that anyone would believe, not that he had just been engaged in action, but that he was eager to start. When he had consumed the nectar, the server would provide him with a napkin with which to wipe his lips; and then, his ministration completed, he would disappear without waiting for a reward for his services or for conversation to satisfy curiosity.” – Gervase of Tilbury, Otia Imperialia 3.60

Gervase of Tilbury, Otia Imperialia 3.43

“Also in the kingdom of Arles, in the province of Aix, they say that there is a crag on whose steep face, which is like a wall pierced with windows, two or more ladies appear to travelers when they are a long way away, conversing with each other, as they pretend, and clapping their hands at a shared joke. These women seem beautiful, charming and alluring to people at a distance, but when they come closer the vision utterly vanishes into illusion.” – Gervase of Tilbury, Otia Imperialia 3.43

Strabo, Geography 15.3

“The Persians therefore do not erect statues and altars, but sacrifice on a high place, regarding the heaven as Zeus; and they honour also the sun, whom they call Mithra, and the moon and Aphrodite and fire and earth and the winds and water.” – Strabo, Geography 15.3

The Council of Turin 23

“Returning to their own houses after mass, they return to the errors of the Pagans; having received the body of the lord they accept food sacrificed to demons. We urge pastors as well as priests to take care that on holy authority they drive out of the church those whom they notice persisting in this folly or doing things contrary to the teachings of the church at heaven knows what rocks, trees or springs, the chosen places of Pagans, and that they do not allow those who keep Pagan customs to participate in the sacrament of the altar.” – The Council of Turin 23

Isidore of Seville, Etymologie 2.11.1.140

“Menstrual blood is very dangerous, especially when used in harmful magic. Because of it plants fail to germinate, must turns sour, grass dies, trees drop their fruit, rust eats iron, bronze turns black. If dogs eat of it they get rabies. Asphalt, which resists both iron and water, crumbles immediately when polluted by that gore.” – Isidore of Seville, Etymologie 2.11.1.140

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.6

“There are those who from naivety or ignorance or surely – which is more believable – from greed, neither feared nor blushed to eat of sacrifices or of sacrilegious food prepared in the Pagan fashion. True Christians, however, ought to avoid the devilish banquets held in the vicinity of a shrine or springs or of particular trees. And even if you keep yourself away from the diabolical feast, that is not enough, for there are some who eat the food that others prepare and bring home from the shrines, which is completely unacceptable.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.6

The Council of Toledo 12.11.398-9

“We admonish all those who worship idols, venerate stones, light torches and honor sacred springs or trees, that they should know that they who are seen to sacrifice to the devil subject themselves to death. And, accordingly, as soon as the priests and civil authorities discover such things they are to devote themselves to uprooting the sacrilegious idolatry and all that is against the holy faith, which foolish men, entrapped by diabolic cults, devote themselves to. These are to be removed and destroyed. Moreover they are to restrain with blows those who assemble for such vileness and hand them over, loaded down with iron, to their masters if, at least, their masters promise under oath to guard them so vigilantly that they will be unable to further practice such wickedness. If their masters are unwilling to keep the guilty persons of this sort in their charge, they are then to be brought before the king by those who had punished them, so that the prince’s authority may exercise its free power to dispose of them. Nevertheless, let their masters, who have delayed in punishing the proclaimed faults of such slaves, be subject to the sentence of excommunication: let them also be aware that they have lost their power over the slave whom they refused to correct. If free-born persons are implicated in these faults, they are both to suffer the sentence of perpetual excommunication and to be punished with a particularly stringent exile.” – The Council of Toledo 12.11.398-9

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 53.1

“If, dearly beloved, we rejoice indeed because we see you hasten faithfully to church, we are saddened and grieved because we know that some of you go off even more often to the ancient worship of idols, like godless Pagans who lack the grace of baptism. We have heard that some of you pay your vows to trees, pray to springs and commit acts unmentionable. In fact there are unhappy wretches who not only do not want to destroy the shrines of Pagans but even do no fear nor blush to rebuild what was destroyed. And if someone who is mindful of god wants to burn sacred trees or scatter and destroy diabolical altars, they go mad with rage and are overcome by great frenzy, so that they even dare to strike those who tried to overturn the sacrilegious idols for the love of god … And why do such wretches bother to come to church or accept the sacrament of baptism if afterwards they are to return to the sacrilege of idols?” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 53.1

Ratio de catichizandis rudibus 81, 82

“Do not pay honor to idols, do not use charms, do not read omens, do not make sacrifices to mountains, nor trees, nor at the corners of foundation stones. Foolish, faithless and wretched men make idols for themselves with their own hands. They cast and sculpt gods for themselves in the image of man, some from gold, some from silver, some from bronze. Then they set them up and adore them. But others make themselves gods from wood and stone. Others still adore animals and worship them as gods. They give these idols the names of men who died badly in the midst of vices and sins, and whose souls now suffer eternal torments.” – Ratio de catichizandis rudibus 81, 82

St. Boniface, Sermons 6.1

“All the sacrifices and soothsayings of the Pagan are sacrileges, as are the sacrifices of the dead and those conducted around corpses or over tombs. Also omens, amulets and offerings made on stones, or to springs, trees, Jupiter, Mercury or the other Pagan gods, because they are diabolic; and many other things which would take too long to list are all, according to the judgment of the holy fathers, sacrileges to be avoided and detested by Christians, and they are recognized as capital sins.” – St. Boniface, Sermons 6.1

Burchard of Worms, Decretum 19.5.94

“Did you eat any part of an idolothyte, that is, of the offerings made in some places at the graves of the dead, or near springs, trees, or stones, or at crossroads, or did you carry stones to a cairn, or crown crucifixes at crossroads with wreaths? If you did so or consented to any of these, you should do penance for thirty days on bread and water.” – Burchard of Worms, Decretum 19.5.94

Martin of Braga, De correctione rusticorum 16

“What is the lighting of candles at stones, trees, springs and crossroads but the cult of the devil?” – Martin of Braga, De correctione rusticorum 16

Homilia de sacrilegiis 2

“Whoever goes to the ancient altars, temples, groves of trees, stones or to any other place, or offers animals or some other thing there, or holds a feast in such a place, shall be liable to punishment.” – Homilia de sacrilegiis 2

Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae 21

“All those who make vows to springs, trees or groves, or who bring offerings there according to the custom of the Pagans and consume feasts in honor of demons shall be punished.” – Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae 21

Regino of Prüm, De synodalibus causis 2.5.43

“People sacrifice at trees, springs and stones as though at an altar and bring candles and a multitude of other offerings as if some divinity were to be found there who could benefit them or cause them mischief.” – Regino of Prüm, De synodalibus causis 2.5.43

Martin of Braga, De correctione rusticorum 8

“Many of the demons driven from heaven preside over the sea, rivers, springs or the woods; men who do not know god honor them and sacrifice to them as though they were gods.” – Martin of Braga, De correctione rusticorum 8

Ghärbald of Lüttich, Capitulary 2.12

“You must give up the names and inform me of the nature of their crime of all those in our diocese who foolishly make and observe their vows by springs, trees and stones for reasons of health, protection or as some kind of devotion.” – Ghärbald of Lüttich, Capitulary 2.12

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.5

“What a thing is that, that when those trees to which people make vows fall, no one carries the wood from them home to use on the hearth! Behold the wretchedness and stupidity of mankind: they show honor to a dead tree and despise the commands of the living god; they do not dare to put the branches of a tree into the fire and by an act of sacrilege throw themselves headlong into hell.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.5

Atto of Vercelli, Sermon 134.849-51

“A custom has developed concerning the Annunciation of St. John the Baptist which is deplorable. Certain little trollops abandon the churches and the divine offices; they pass the whole night wherever they will, in the streets and crossroads, by springs and in the countryside; they form round dances, compose songs, draw lots and pretend that people’s prospects are to be predicted from things of this sort. Their superstition has given rise to madness to the point that they presume to baptize grass and leafy boughs, and hence they dare to call the turf and trees their godparents and good friends. And for a long while afterwards they strive to keep them hung up in their houses, as though for the sake of piety.” – Atto of Vercelli, Sermon 134.849-51

Martin of Braga, Canones ex orientalium patrum synodis 72

“It is forbidden for Christians to abide by any Pagan traditions and observe or honor the elements or the moon or the course of the stars or the empty falsehood of signs for building a house, planting corn or trees or contracting marriage.” – Martin of Braga, Canones ex orientalium patrum synodis 72

Pausanias, Guide to Greece 3.23.8

“About two stades to the right is the water of Ino, as it is called, in extent like a small lake, but going deeper into the earth. Into this water they throw cakes of barley meal at the festival of Ino. If good luck is portended to the thrower, the water keeps them under. But if it brings them to the surface, it is judged a bad sign.” – Pausanias, Guide to Greece 3.23.8

SIG3 1097

“Gods! The orgeones rent the sanctuary of Ergetes to Diognetos, son of Arkesilos from the deme Melite, for ten years, at the rate of 200 drachmas each year; he is to manage the sanctuary and the buildings constructed in it as a sanctuary; Diognetos shall whitewash the walls which need it, and shall construct and arrange whatever else he wants. At the expiration of the ten year period, he shall take away with him the woodwork, the roof-tiles and the doors and posts; but he shall remove none of the other furnishings. He shall tend the trees growing in the sanctuary; if any dies, he shall replace it and hand on the same number. Diognetos shall pay the rent money to the treasurer of the oregeones in office each year, one half of which is due on the first day of Elaphobolion. When the orgeones sacrifice to the hero in Boedromion, Diognetos is to have open the structure where the shrine is, as well as the shed, the kitchen, and the couches and tables for two dining rooms. Should Diognetos fail to pay the rent on time or meet any of the other requirements of the lease, the lease is to be void and he is deprived of all the property and contributions to the sanctuary’s upkeep that he has made, and the orgeones may rent to whomever they wish thereafter. Diognetos is to inscribe this lease on the stone which stands in the sanctuary. The term of the lease begins in the year when Koroibos is arkhon.” – SIG3 1097

SIG3 986

“Resolved by the council, Tellis presiding: In the sacred groves there is to be no pasturing or dumping of manure. If any one does herd sheep, pigs or cattle, the person who sees it should report it to the authorities in order to remain pure in the god’s sight. The fine for the shepherd, swineherd or cowherd shall be 1/12 stater for each animal. If any one is caught dumping manure, he shall pay five staters to become pure in the god’s sight. If the person who sees it does not report it he shall pay five staters, sanctified to the god.” – SIG3 986

Turin Stela 50044

“By the servant of the Moon, Huy. He says, I am the man the who falsely swore to the Moon concerning the scoop, and he caused me to see the greatness of his strength before the entire land. I will recount your manifestation to the fish in the river and to the birds in the sky, and they will say to their children’s children, Beware of the Moon, the merciful, who knew how to avert this.” – Turin Stela 50044