The Voice of the Possessed in Late Medieval French Theater

  • Andreea Marculescu
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


During the Easter ceremony of the year 1491, a strange event took place in a reformed Augustinian convent situated near the small town of Cambrai in northern France. Several of the nuns residing in the convent, recounts the Burgundian chronicler Jean Molinet (1435–1507), displayed extremely bizarre behavior. They rolled their eyes, jumped in the air, and spoke in tongues; one sang a song in a hideous voice. Together with the ecclesiastical authorities called upon to interpret the case, Molinet considers that such behavior is the direct result of the fact that the women were possessed by devils.


Evil Spirit Bodily Possession Linguistic Pattern Strange Event Passion Play 
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© Irit Ruth Kleiman 2015

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  • Andreea Marculescu

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