Inquisitors Strategies in The Night Battles

Inquisitors Strategies in The Night Battles - Inquisitors...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Inquisitors Strategies in The Night Battles Carlo Ginzburg’s book, The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries , gives an account of fertility rituals that drew the Church’s attention and lead to The Holy Inquisition of the benandanti —a group of men and women born with the caul, “who fell into a trance on certain nights of the year while their souls left their bodies so that they could do battle, armed with stalks of fennel, against analogous companies of male witches for the fate of the season’s crops” (ix). The benandanti thought of themselves as anti-witches, yet through the course of their testimonies the inquisitors—distressed from the tales of witchcraft and sabbaths—were able to manipulate the fragmented accounts they received by unfair tactics, such as intense and manipulative questioning along with distortion of the testimonies. Thus the clash of old pagan ways with doctrines of the increasingly powerful Church resulted in the use of unjust questioning tactics by inquisitors, ultimately transformed the benandanti into the witches that they claimed to be fighting against for the purpose of eliminating them as a threat to the Church. By questioning in an intense manner through asking their questions quickly and having interrogations last for a very long time, the inquisitors attempted to confuse the benandanti and make their story inconsistent, which consequently made them appear to be guilty of witchcraft and thus legitimate enemies of the Church. Ginzburg says that Fra Felice, an inquisitor, “bombarded [Paolo Gasparutto—an admitted benandanti] with questions” (5) and describes him as being demanding and interrupting a lot during his questioning. After Fra Felice incarcerated Gasparutto and pressed him for more information during another interrogations Gasparutto “modified his confession…
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
introducing a new element” (9) which Fra Felice took advantage of in undermining the central point of Gasparutto’s confession. Fra Felice asked Gasparutto who told him to become part of the benandanti and Gasparutto unexpectedly replied, “The angel of God…at night in my house…appeared before me…and he called me saying ‘I will send
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 07/03/2008 for the course ENG 3 taught by Professor Steinberg during the Spring '07 term at UCLA.

Page1 / 5

Inquisitors Strategies in The Night Battles - Inquisitors...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online