The following questions will appear on the midterm either in short-answer or multiple-choice form. Be prepared to answer
each question in full: all questions are addressed in your lecture notes and/or in the assigned lecture or recitation readings.
: Midterm is
Monday, March 3
, and is worth
20% of your final grade
take the midterm
in the section for which you are enrolled.
Sorcerers, Witches, and Magic Healers
If, according to Ivanits, the peasants
attribute the power of a sorcerer or a witch to the devil, then what was
believed to be the source of their power? Explain your answer.
The devil himself.
According to Ivanits, what was the most significant identifying mark for the witch in popular belief?
She would have a tail.
By what physical characteristics, activities, possessions, or other signs could one identify a sorcerer or witch? List
and describe at least 5 such signs.
Witches had tails and let their hair down. Sorcerers had bushy eyebrows and 2 shadows. Being of a certain
occupation: miller, blacksmith, and herders. Living away from town alone and walking around at night alone
would constitute suspicion.
Referring to Ivanits, (a) define the term
, (b) describe the role that the
played in ancient Russia, and (c)
explain why and at what times people would turn to him.
They were similar to shamans; looked at as a leader. They were turned to in times of illness, drought, and famine.
They were also relied on for healing and divination.
List and describe three distinct ways in which a magic healer (znakhar) was different from a sorcerer (koldun).
Magic healers did not have anything to do with unclean spirits; they called upon gods and saints.
They used herbs
Did not reject Christianity, leading to easy death, unlike sorcerers
Referring to Ivanits, name three professions or occupations that were often associated with occult powers. Also, you
must explain why this was so.
Miller- he worked by the water, so he must have been on good terms with the Vodianoi
Metalworkers- they can bend something that seems impossible to
Herders- they work alone and are simple; yet they think that they are acting simple to his their sorcery
Name two distinctly different ways by which an individual could become a willing sorcerer.
He could go to the crossroads with an icon and reject Christianity and make a pact with the devil
How might one destroy a sorcerer? How could a person otherwise render a (living) sorcerer powerless (without
necessarily killing him)?
List and describe three distinct methods.
Stab him in the heart with an aspen stake.