Yes, the pharmacology and herbal/magic potions and plants are the primary
interest. Thank you for the references. It is really not very surprising to me
that the use of certain plants for their medicinal/psychedelic applications
would be found across disciplines. The reference I came across and those you
have mentioned may help fill some of the gaps in identifying the plants and
other aspects seen in the VMS.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003 2:59
Subject: VMs: Witchcraft and
At 22:22 27/11/2003 -0700, Dana Scott
>It seems that witchcraft flourished in the late 15th
There seems to be an abundant (if often inadequately
literature on the cross-over between 15th century folk
pharmacology, which I guess is what you are particularly
(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"
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
mentions M. Harner "The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in
Witchcraft" in M. Harner (ed.) "Hallucinogens and Shamanism"
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
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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