The Night Battles By Carolo Ginzburg Sparknotes

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The study of occult worship and witchcraft has fascinated scholars for centuries. Many academic intellectuals have researched varying topics on this matter over time. Carolo Ginzburg is one such individual. He wrote The Night Battles to try and show the fundamental differences between witches of the middle ages and the agricultural based cult Benandante. He uses this text to provide readers with a better understanding of this cult. Furthermore he uses the text to show how the Roman Inquisition pushed the cult into the same realm as witchcraft and then persecuted them until they no longer existed. Ginzburg uses accounts of the different inquisition trials and interrogations of members of the Benandante to provide understanding to the readers …show more content…

He provided detailed traces of Benandante beliefs throughout history to connect them to a peasant traditionally belief system that grew out of way to cope in an uneducated world. However, his last section of his book he seems to weaken his own argument by connecting self-proclaimed Benandantes to practicing the sabbat. The last section is full of cases where members of the cult of Benandante claim to have been present at the sabbat amongst the witches. They claimed that they did not partake but they did see the witches partake in worshiping the devil. Ginzburg theorizes at that this point in time, “forced by choices thrust upon them…made them the objects of persecution by the inquisitors. Little by little they had become what they had always been expected to be: witches” (107). Ginzburg throughout this sections shows that public opinion of them damned them into the role of being a heretic and witches. This section though reinforces the idea that the outside forces of the inquisitors pushed the Benandante into the role of being witch, but it also weakens that same central argument since there is a good deal of cases showing members of the cult leaning towards more of the practices of

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