Montague Summers’ Compilations
Perhaps the most assiduous student of witchcraft in this century was a learned Jesuit, Montague Summers, the author (among other publications) of the massive The History of Witchcraft and Demonology
(London, 1926), and The Geography of Witchcraft
(London, 1927). He also edited English translations (some done by himself) of the works of the demonologists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, published in the nineteen-thirties. It is clear from his comments that he believed that most of these accounts were substantially true. Nonetheless there is plenty of material in what he himself says, let alone in what the old demonologists say, to lend support to a Freudian interpretation of the Witch Craze. Look, for instance, at the following details in his description of the proceedings at the sabbat:
The witches adored Satan, or the Master of the Sabbat who presided in place of Satan, by prostrations, genuflections, gestures, and obeisances. In mockery of solemn bows and seemly courtesies the worshippers of the Demon approach him awkwardly, with grotesque and obscene mops and mows, sometimes straddling sideways, sometimes walking backwards, as Guazzo says: Cum accedunt ad daemones eos ueneraturi terga obuertunt & cessim eum eanerorum more supplicaturi manus inuersas retro applicant.
KeywordsEnglish Translation Cultural Study Seventeenth Century Natural Origin Detailed Record
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© Stanislav Andreski 1989