05 Brief: Reading Note

I ran across a neat little article the other day. It was not found by accident, I was keyword searching stuff from my reading of Shaman of Oberstdorf. The good news, upon finishing it I actually remembered to post about it.

The article in question, “Witch Trials” by Peter T. Leeson and Jacob W. Russ. It was interesting, but honestly not overly so. I am not sure if it’d be an easy read for those uninterested in the topic. There are a great many more article out there that might be a better suited and an easier read for a more casual reader.

This is not the first time I have ran across an article by Leeson (ex. Ordeals, 2012 and Trial by Battle, 2011). I hope he continues to find things to write about that overlap in our venn diagram of interests.

I have a fair (at least more than I realized) amount of cool Late Medieval and Early Modern reading material on Witch related history, Alchemy, Christian Mysticism, Reformer ‘cults’, and folklore books – I will have to review some of them in the future. Which reminds me, I must thank my friend Greg Melee of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, for sending me an Encyclopedia entry for Heinrich Khunrath (1560 – 1605).

L0050107 Portrait. Cropped. Heinrich Khunrath Published: 1609. CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

My first exposure to Alchemy, well any real thought provoking exposure, was from what I learnt about via Carl Jung and his Collective Unconsciousness about a decade ago . But after getting a touch of Jungian Alchemy, I fell into the works of Adam McLean which led be back to his primary source materials. I make mention of this because I am sure to wax about Alchemy in the future with little need or prompting.

The burning interest in the Great Work and the process, has faded for me, but will always be there in my unconscious mind consuming and refining itself.

04 Brief: Reading Notes

Women and Family Life in Early Modern German Literature is another book on the bedside pile mentioned in the previous update. I picked this one up in hopes of collecting more data about interpersonal interactions of the 16th century. I am always trying to create a more detailed living picture in my mind of the Early Modern Period and the cities of Straßburg and Augsburg in particular (which is why I’m pretty excited to read A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Augsburg ( when it gets published in 2020) that and I am a Fan of the author.

I believe the more well you can understand the period in scope, the better you’ll comprehend specific 16th century authors’ written intent. I have read the Introduction and the first chapter on Schwanksammlungen (think Johannes Pauli‘s Schimpf und Ernst (Thann, 1522)).

As an aside, here is a cool little article from 1994 entitled “Johannes Pauli and the Strasbourg Dancers” by Arlene Epp Pearsall my saved bookmarks on Straßburg. I believe Kevin Maurer turned me on to this particular article, think I’ll reRead this one.
Pearsall, the author, also wrote “Johannes Pauli (1450-1520) on the Church and Clergy” (Lewiston, NY, 1994) which may never make it to the bedside table to be read, unless someone recommends it to me. That said I have read and enjoyed almost all of the 101 irreverent stories collected from the works of Johannes Pauli.

Anyhow, so far I’m enjoying this book and its tone. I am loving the footnotes, they are great leads to further research.

However no matter how enjoyable, I just had to skip ahead to preview the fourth chapter on some Straßburg city council policing ordinances (from the in Series R (Mandats et Reglements) from the BNU Straßburg).

I’ll happily review this and what treasure I find as an update after I complete the book. The data so far is very tasty, and I can recommend this book now. Researchers and students of the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods should read this at least, if they do not have it in their personal library. Not a bad call, not a waste of one’s time or money on the purchase.