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VMs: Witchcraft and pharmacology...

Hi Dana,

At 22:22 27/11/2003 -0700, Dana Scott wrote:
It seems that witchcraft flourished in the late 15th century:

There seems to be an abundant (if often inadequately cross-referenced) literature on the cross-over between 15th century folk magic and pharmacology, which I guess is what you are particularly interested in (rather than "witchcraft" per se)

I've mentioned Ioan Couliano's "Eros and Magic in the Renaissance" several times before (for witchcraft etc, refer particularly to pages 149-153). One key source for Couliano is Jordanes de Bergamo's "Quaestio de Strigis" (manuscript, circa 1470), quoted in Joseph Hansen "Quellen und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Hexenwahns" (Bonn, 1901) and in Henry Charles Lea "Materials towards a History of Witchcraft" (New York and London, 1957).

Couliano also mentions M. Harner "The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft" in M. Harner (ed.) "Hallucinogens and Shamanism" (Oxford University Press, 1973), pp. 125-150.

I've also corresponded briefly with a German group of researchers who study around the area of history of phytotherapy and gynaecology: it seems likely to me that several sets of literature overlap in this general area.

A good first step to grasping this might be to compile a bibliography (perhaps as a Wiki?) classified by general tradition (witchcraft, pharmacology, herb-women, folk magic, etc). Circulating that amongst different academic groups might act as a magnet for finding more recent research.

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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