Strange Histories The Trial of the Pig, the Walking Dead, and Other Matters of Fact from the Medieval and Renaissance Worlds

ISBN-10: 0415404924
ISBN-13: 9780415404921
Edition: 2006
Authors: Darren Oldridge
List price: $30.95
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Description: Did you know that insects could be tried for criminal acts in pre-industrial Europe, that the dead could be executed, that statues could be subjected to public humiliation, or that it was widely accepted that corpses could return to life? What made  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Routledge
Publication date: 12/12/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Did you know that insects could be tried for criminal acts in pre-industrial Europe, that the dead could be executed, that statues could be subjected to public humiliation, or that it was widely accepted that corpses could return to life? What made reasonable, educated men and women behave in ways that seem utterly nonsensical to us today?Strange Historiespresents for the first time a serious account of some of the most extraordinary occurrences of European history. Throughout the ages, people have held ideas and events have taken place which have baffled later societies. Religious disbelievers were thought deserving of death, insects were occasionally excommunicated, studying the biology of angels was a legitimate activity, and the pursuit of personal happiness was considered rather misguided as a life strategy. Using case studies from the Middle Ages and the early modern period with some from the more recent past, this book provides fascinating insights into the world-view through theages, and shows how such goings-on fitted in quite naturally with the "common sense" of the time. Explanations of these phenomena, riveting and ultimately rational, encourage further reflection on what really shapes our beliefs.

List of plates
Preface
Introduction: Strange Worlds
Angels on a Pinhead
They Hang Horses, Don't They?
The Roaming Dead
"A Shipwreck of Souls": Understanding Witchcraft
Werewolves and Flying Witches
Raptures and Forbidden Words
Suffering Saints
The Case for Killing Heretics
Conclusion: "The Edge of Wonder"
Notes
Index

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