eklogai

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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

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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

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

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

John of Ephesos as quoted in the third book of the Chronicle of Zuqnin

“In the nineteenth year of the Emperor Justinian, they were busy, thanks to my zeal, with the matter of the Pagans who were discovered in Constantinople. These were illustrious and noble men, with a host of grammarians, sophists, scholastics and physicians. When they were discovered and, thanks to torture, denounced themselves, they were seized, flogged, imprisoned, and sent to the churches so that they might learn the Christian faith as was appropriate for Pagans. There were among them patricians and nobles. Then a powerful and wealthy Pagan named Phocas, who was a patrician, saw the harshness of the inquisition and knowing that those arrested had denounced him as a Pagan, and that a severe sentence had been given against him because of the zeal of the emperor, that night took deadly poison and so left this earthly life. When the emperor heard this, he ordered with justice that he should be interred like an ass, that there should be no cortege or prayer for him. So his family during the night put him on a litter, carried him, made an open grave and threw him in it like a dead animal. Thanks to this the Pagans were afraid for some time. Later on the goodness of god visited Asia, Caria, Lydia and Phrygia, thanks to the zeal of the victorious Justinian and by the efforts of his humble servant. So by the power of the holy spirit, 70,000 souls were instructed, and left behind the errors of Paganism, the worship of idols and the temples of the demons for the knowledge of the truth. All were converted, disavowed the errors of their ancestors, were baptized in the name of our lord Jesus Christ, and were added to the number of Christians. The victorious Justinian paid the expenses and clothing for baptism; he also took care to give three gold pieces to each of them. When god had opened their minds and had made known the truth, they helped us with their own hands to destroy their temples, to overthrow their idols, to extirpate the sacrifices that were offered everywhere, to cut down their altars, soiled with the blood of sacrifices offered to demons, and to cut down countless trees that they worshipped because they were leaving all the errors of their ancestors. The salutary sign of the cross was planted everywhere among them, and churches of god were founded everywhere. They were built and erected, to the number of eighty-six, with great diligence and zeal, in the high mountains and steep and in the plains, in all the places where there was Paganism. Twelve monasteries were also founded in places which were Pagan, and where the name of Christian name had never been heard from the beginning of the world until this time. Fifty-five churches were founded at public expense and forty-one at the expense of the new Christians. The victorious emperor gave them willingly, by our hands, the sacred vessels, clothes, books and brass items.” – John of Ephesos as quoted in the third book of the Chronicle of Zuqnin

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

Arno of Salzburg, Synodal Sermon 393-94

“It is wrong to seek help in a time of need at trees or springs or anywhere else, except in front of god and his saints in holy mother church.” – Arno of Salzburg, Synodal Sermon 393-94

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

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

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 10.15

“Of the ceremonies of the priest and priestess of Jupiter; and words quoted from the praetor’s edict, in which he declares that he will not compel either the Vestal virgins or the priest of Jupiter to take oath. Ceremonies in great number are imposed upon the priest of Jupiter and also many abstentions, of which we read in the books written On the Public Priests; and they are also recorded in the first book of Fabius Pictor. Of these the following are in general what I remember: It is unlawful for the priest of Jupiter to ride upon a horse; it is also unlawful for him to see the ‘classes arrayed’ outside the pomerium, that is, the army in battle array; hence the priest of Jupiter is rarely made consul, since wars were entrusted to the consuls; also it is always unlawful for the priest to take an oath; likewise to wear a ring, unless it be perforated and without a gem. It is against the law for fire to be taken from the flaminia, that is, from the home of the flamen Dialis, except for a sacred rite; if a person in fetters enter his house, he must be loosed, the bonds must be drawn up through the impluvium to the roof and from there let down into the street. He has no knot in his head-dress, girdle, or any other part of his dress; if anyone is being taken to be flogged and falls at his feet as a suppliant, it is unlawful for the man to be flogged on that day. Only a free man may cut the hair of the Dialis. It is not customary for the Dialis to touch, or even name, a she-goat, raw flesh, ivy, and beans. The priest of Jupiter must not pass under an arbour of vines. The feet of the couch on which he sleeps must be smeared with a thin coating of clay, and he must not sleep away from this bed for three nights in succession, and no other person must sleep in that bed. At the foot of his bed there should be a box with sacrificial cakes. The cuttings of the nails and hair of the Dialis must be buried in the earth under a fruitful tree. Every day is a holy day for the Dialis. He must not be in the open air without his cap; that he might go without it in the house has only recently been decided by the pontiffs, so Masurius Sabinus wrote, and it is said that some other ceremonies have been remitted and he has been excused from observing them. The priest of Jupiter must not touch any bread fermented with yeast. He does not lay off his inner tunic except under cover, in order that he may not be naked in the open air, as it were under the eye of Jupiter. No other has a place at table above the flamen Dialis, except the rex sacrificulus. If the Dialis has lost his wife he abdicates his office. The marriage of the priest cannot be dissolved except by death. He never enters a place of burial, he never touches a dead body; but he is not forbidden to attend a funeral. The ceremonies of the priestess of Jupiter are about the same; they say that she observes other separate ones: for example, that she wears a dyed robe, that she has a twig from a fruitful tree in her head-dress, that it is forbidden for her to go up more than three rounds of a ladder, except the so called Greek ladders; also, when she goes to the Argei, that she neither combs her head nor dresses her hair. I have added the words of the praetor in his standing edict concerning the flamen Dialis and the priestess of Vesta: ‘In the whole of my jurisdiction I will not compel the flamen of Jupiter or a priestess of Vesta to take an oath.’ The words of Marcus Varro about the flamen Dialis, in the second book of his Divine Antiquities, are as follows: He alone has a white cap, either because he is the greatest of priests, or because a white victim should be sacrificed to Jupiter.” – Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 10.15

Liutprand 84.1.727

“If some one, forgetful of their fear of god, shall go to a soothsayer, male or female, for divination, or to receive answers from them, he shall pay half his price in the sacred palace, according as he is valued … and he shall also do penance according to the church canons. In the same way he who worships a tree which the rustics call holy and at springs, or performs sacrilege or incantation, shall pay a similar price. And if some one knows of a male or female soothsayer and does not denounce them or those who consult them, he shall pay the penalty. The same applies to those who send their servant or handmaid to consult the soothsayer.” – Liutprand 84.1.727

The Diocesan Council of Auxerre

1. It is not permitted to dress up as a calf or a stag on the Kalends of January or to present diabolical gifts; on that day all favors shall be granted as on other days.

3. It is forbidden to make offerings or keep vigils on saints’ festivals in private houses, or to discharge vows among woods or at sacred trees or at springs, but, whoever has a vow, let him keep vigil in the church and fulfill his vow by giving to the servants of the church or the poor. Nor let anyone dare to make feet or images of men out of wood.

4. It is forbidden to turn to soothsayers or to augurs, or to those who pretend to know the future, or to look at what they call ‘the lots of the Saints’ or those they make out of wood or bread. But whatever a man wishes to do, let him do it in the name of god.

5. Forbid especially, in every way, these observances on the vigils which are kept in honor of Saint Martin.

8. It is forbidden to offer mellita, mulsa or any other mixture of wine and honey at the altar of the divine sacrifice. Any potion other than wine mixed with water is forbidden. Great sin and crime belong to the presbyter who dares offer any drink other than wine in the consecration of the blood of Christ.

– The Diocesan Council of Auxerre

Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 364e-365e

“That Osiris is identical with Dionysos who could more fittingly know than yourself, Klea? For you are at the head of the inspired maidens of Delphi, and have been consecrated by your father and mother in the holy rites of Osiris. If, however, for the benefit of others it is needful to adduce proofs of this identity, let us leave undisturbed what may not be told, but the public ceremonies which the priests perform in the burial of the Apis, when they convey his body on an improvised bier, do not in any way come short of a Bacchic procession; for they fasten skins of fawns about themselves, and carry Bacchic wands and indulge in shoutings and movements exactly as do those who are under the spell of the Dionysiac ecstasies. For the same reason many of the Greeks make statues of Dionysos in the form of a bull; and the women of Elis invoke him, praying that the god may come with the hoof of a bull; and the epithet applied to Dionysos among the Argives is ‘Son of the Bull.’ They call him up out of the water by the sound of trumpets, at the same time casting into the depths a lamb as an offering to the Keeper of the Gate. The trumpets they conceal in Bacchic wands, as Socrates has stated in his treatise On The Holy Ones. Furthermore, the tales regarding the Titans and the rites celebrated by night agree with the accounts of the dismemberment of Osiris and his revivification and regenesis. Similar agreement is found too in the tales about their sepulchres. The Egyptians, as has already been stated, point out tombs of Osiris in many places, and the people of Delphi believe that the remains of Dionysos rest with them close beside the oracle; and the Holy Ones offer a secret sacrifice in the shrine of Apollo whenever the devotees of Dionysos wake the God of the Mystic Basket. To show that the Greeks regard Dionysos as the lord and master not only of wine, but of the nature of every sort of moisture, it is enough that Pindar be our witness, when he says ‘May gladsome Dionysos swell the fruit upon the trees, the hallowed splendour of harvest time.’ For this reason all who reverence Osiris are prohibited from destroying a cultivated tree or blocking up a spring of water.” – Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 364e-365e

Quintus Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni 8.9.34

“To anything they have started to cultivate they give divine status, especially to trees, violating which constitutes a capital offence.” – Quintus Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni 8.9.34