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Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath

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Weaving early accounts of witchcraft - trial records, ecclesiastical tracts, folklore, and popular iconography - into new and startling patterns, Carlo Ginzburg presents in Ecstasies compelling evidence of a hidden shamanistic culture that flourished across Europe and in England for thousands of years.

Ecstasies is the culmination of Ginzburg's longstanding fascination with popular myths that are shared across different cultures and eras. Here he follows the accounts...

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New York 1991 hardcover 1st American Edition Very Good+ in Fine dust jacket 8vo 339 pp; Out of print. Has remainder mark and light shelf wear. First 10 pages are creased at ... upper corner, else a very attractive copy. Binding is tight, pages are clean & bright. DJ protected in a clear Brodart cover.; Always Delivery Confirmation. 35 Years Fast Excellent Service. We Know How To Pack Books. Read more Show Less

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1991 Hardcover Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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1991 Hardcover Good Still nice, but it will have reading and shelf wear. Nothing bad, we promise! 99.9% Positive Feedback. SHIPS OUT WITHIN 1 BUSINESS DAY! CHARITY SALE! 100% ... of the proceeds benefit the literacy and educational efforts of Books for America. Read more Show Less

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1st printing America, 1991 first printing America Very Good/Very Good hard cover 8vo, boards, 339pp, illus. edgewear, small tears, wrinkles edges, rubbing, dust jacket. small ... light stains edges, clean, tight, text. occult. Read more Show Less

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1991 Hardcover Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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1991 Hardcover First American Edition Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket; Unclipped DJ has mild scuffing. Clean and tight. 8vo 8"-9" tall; 339 pages.

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1991 Hard Cover Very Good in Very Good jacket Hard Cover-VG/VG-Book and dust jacket are clean and tight with light wear-Index-339 pages.

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hardcover Illus. 8vo, cloth, d.w. N.Y. : Pantheon Books, (1991). vg.

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New York 1991 Hard Cover Ex-library Good. No Jacket This book has a purple spine with gilt and purple lettering and a beige cover. Ex-lib.; usual lib. markings, but most inner ... pages clean and bright, binding tight. Translated by Raymond Rosenthal, this book looks at the history of practices of witchcraft in Europe and the United States throughout history and how it has evolved into the modern day. 339 pages, including index; approx. 6"x9". Read more Show Less

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New York, NY 1991 Hardcover First Ed USA, so stated. First Ed USA, so stated. Near Fine in Near Fine DJ: Both book and DJ show only minute indications of use. Book shows light ... shelf wear along the bottom edge; faintest sun-blanching along the top edge; binding square and secure; text clean. DJ shows mild rubbing; price clipped; mylar-protected. Overall, very close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 339pp. Hardback with DJ. Carlo Ginzburg contends that the so-called "witches" of old Europe were in fact remanents of the old Shamanic cultures of Europe, and he makes an excellent arguement for it. I will admit, I do agree with him on some points. Shamanism is a universal phenomena, and yet (with the notable exception of the Lapps in Scandinavia and a few scattered myths and legends like Orpheus and Odin) Shamanism seems to have all but been absent in Europe, and this has always puzzled me. Certainly, had Shamanism been widespread in Europe, it probably would have survived well into t Read more Show Less

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Overview

Weaving early accounts of witchcraft - trial records, ecclesiastical tracts, folklore, and popular iconography - into new and startling patterns, Carlo Ginzburg presents in Ecstasies compelling evidence of a hidden shamanistic culture that flourished across Europe and in England for thousands of years.

Ecstasies is the culmination of Ginzburg's longstanding fascination with popular myths that are shared across different cultures and eras. Here he follows the accounts given by those accused of witchcraft centuries ago, gradually weaving them together into a startling pattern, revealing evidence of a hidden shamanistic culture that flourished across Europe for millenia. Photographs and maps.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Emerging from testimonies during witchcraft trials in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries are consistent descriptions of the Witches' Sabbath: night flying, ritual cannibalism, etc. Most scholars dismiss these descriptions as torture-induced gibberish. Ginzburg history, Univ. of California at Los Angeles proves that these descriptions are bastardized accounts of ecstatic experiences practiced by a shamanic culture. In addition, he links the persecution of the witches with that of other social outcasts lepers, Jews, and Muslims. Europeans thought that these groups conspired against society, which led to their wholesale slaughter. Very interesting and very convincing. For collections serving upper-level undergraduates and graduate students.-- Gail Wood, Montgomery Coll. Lib., Germantown, Md.
The Observer - Keith Thomas

"Ginzburg's learning is prodigious and his journey through two thousand years of Eurasian folkore a tour de force."
Guardian

"Ecstasies is a work of uncompromising scholarship and erudition, but it is not intended for the scholar alone. It is also a rich tapestry of anecdote and incident, a chamber of horrors, curiosity shop, and medieval bestiary all in one."
New York Times Book Review - Wendy Doniger

"Ecstasies manages, with extraordinary candor, clarity, grace, and erudition, to steer between lurid sensationalism and dry-as-dust academic drivel, and between purely localized historiography and universalism. This is a big, bold, brilliant book."
Washington Post

"Ginzburg here partially rehabilitates an older point of view, that the witch-cult represented a survival of ancient mysteries, the practice of shamanistic ceremonies forbidden by official Catholicism. Ecstasies offers the result of Ginzburg's researches, in chapters as replete with odd learning and lore as Robert Graves's White Goddess."
London Review of Books

"By any standards, Ecstasies is a bravura performance. It is difficult to think of any other historian who combines such polymathic cultural erudition, grasp of textual and visual detail, and high theoretical aim-not to mention literary skill."
Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

"[Ginzburg] charms by mixing the historic with the horrific, with writing in a way that creates page-turners out of scholars and general readers alike. Ginzburg . . . is a kind of necromancer, calling up the spirits of the dead to thrill us and to speak to us of marvels."
Barnesandnoblereview.com - Michael Dirda

"At times, Ecstacies can be demanding. . . . But persist, and you will be rewarded with truly haunting stories and speculations."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394581637
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/15/1991
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author


Carlo Ginzburg is the Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Cheese and the Worms, The Night Battles, and Myths, Emblems, and Clues. Raymond Rosenthal (1922-2002) received the Present Tense Award for his translation of Primo Levi's The Periodic Table and was twice nominated for the National Book Award for his translations.
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Table of Contents


Introduction
PART ONE
1. Lepers, Jews, Muslims
2. Jews, Heretics, Witches
PART TWO
1. Following the Goddess
2. Anomalies
3. To Combat in Ecstasy
4. Disguised as Animals
PART THREE
1. Eurasian Conjectures
2. Bones and Skin
Conclusion
Index
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