The Night Battles and Peasants of Early Modern Europe

906 words 4 pages
The Night Battles
Composing of most of the European population in the 1500’s and 1600’s, peasants played an important role in the development of Europe. In his book The Night Battles, Carlo Ginzburg gives a unique perspective on the lives of Friulian peasants through the analysis of inquisitorial records. During the inquisitions, peasants were categorized as witches or benandanti, which literally means well-farer. “The benandanti were a small group of men and women, who because they were born with a caul, were regarded as professional antiwitches. They told inquisitors that, in dreams, they fought ritual battles against witches and wizards to protect their villages and harvests from harm.” (Ginzburg. Back Cover) Although the lives of the
…show more content…
Furthermore, Ginzburg asserts the fact that because of his remark, Pellizzaro was suspected of Lutheranism. As Lutheranism was slowly growing during the reformation, Martin Luther made a specific effort to get the support of German peasants. He accomplished this by writing directly to them in his third treatise, “On Christian Freedom” where he leads peasants to believe Lutheranism will lift their oppression. Similarly, Ginzburg asserts that the theological opinions of the inquisitors are what transformed benandanti from “well-farers” to witches. As more cases were tried, the inquisitors found the ideas of the benandanti strange and heretical as they were trying to maintain orthodoxy in the Catholic Church. Slowly, through suggestive questioning and pressure, the inquisitors changed the essence of the benandanti into that of a witch. The lack of education made peasants scared and weak compared to the inquisitors, allowing them to be manipulated and convinced of their own guilt. Although the reasons for manipulating ordinary peasants and Friulian peasants differed, both motives were successful, with the lack of education playing a tremendous role.
There are not many differences between the peasants seen in Carlo Ginzburg’s The Night Battles, and the peasants studied in the early


  • The Witch-Hunts of the 16th Century in Pre-Modern Europe
    1570 words | 7 pages
  • What Did It Mean to Be Modern in Early 20th Century East Asia?
    2142 words | 9 pages
  • Modern History.Hsc.2012
    25805 words | 104 pages
  • Honda in Europe
    994 words | 4 pages
  • Lupe Fiasco’s Modern Voice
    1522 words | 7 pages
  • The Battle of Crete
    3663 words | 15 pages
  • Early Roots of Policing: Sir Robert Peel's (1820s) Nine Principles and Their Connection to Modern
    2468 words | 10 pages
  • Early Civilization Compared to Modern Day America
    1654 words | 7 pages
  • The Battle of Midway
    6542 words | 27 pages
  • Night Flying Woman
    1774 words | 8 pages