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The devil is in the tales: Evaluating eye-witness testimony in Martin Delrio’s Disquisitiones magicae (1599–1600)

Machielsen, Jan 2021. The devil is in the tales: Evaluating eye-witness testimony in Martin Delrio’s Disquisitiones magicae (1599–1600). Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural
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Abstract

Martin Delrio's Disquisitiones magicae (1599–1600) likely was the most successful work of demonology printed during the early modern period. It was also a work of textual scholarship. This article studies in detail the few instances in which the Spanish-Flemish Jesuit chose to discuss anecdotes based on things he either saw or heard and how he attempted to establish their credibility. Embedding these stories in a diverse web of other (textual) examples further allowed Delrio to sidestep the vexed issue of discernment, establishing whether demonic agency had ever been involved. Careful study of the origins of these examples shows how many of these stories must have circulated widely and would be changed in the re-telling, enhancing their plausibility or relevance. The study of demonology through its shared stories, this article suggests, could open up new and exciting avenues for research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DH Netherlands (The Low Countries)
ISSN: 2161-2196
Funders: Humboldt Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 1 July 2021
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2021 19:04
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142888

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