The Breitmann Ballads. ... Complete Edition. [With an Introduction by N. Trübner.]

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Published on
Dec 31, 1871
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Pages
328
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Language
English
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This content is DRM protected.
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Charles Godfrey Leland
Indefatigable in research, Mr. Leland collects from the mouths of Italian peasants all the information still surviving concerning witches and their rites. Much of this he incorporated in his previous writings, and much more-some of it, we are glad to think, on the point of appearance-has yet to see the light. It is difficult to over-estimate the interest of these survivals in Italy of pagan faith and rite, and it is eminently desirable that so much of them as possible should be preserved. They are on the verge of disappearance, and what is not now reclaimed will inevitably perish. On this point Mr. Leland insists. There are still, however, some few people in the Northern Ramagna who know the Etruscan names of the twelve gods. Invocations to Bacchus, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and the Lares may yet be heard, and there are women in the cities who mutter over the amulets they prepare spells known to the old Roman, and have lore which may be found in Cato or Theocritus. Aradia (Herodias), it may be said, is, according to the Vangelo of the witches, the daughter of Diana by her brother Lucifer, the god of the sun and of the moon, who for his pride was driven from Paradise. Aradia - not, Mr. Leland thinks, the Herodias of the New Testament, but an earlier replica of Lilith-is the chief patron of witches and the teacher of witchcraft. Deeply interesting is all that is said concerning her, and the book, which translates the poetic invocations, is a treasure-house to the student of witchcraft and myth.
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