Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 32962
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Bailey , Michael D.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Nocturnal Journeys and Ritual Dances in Bernardino of Siena
  • Source: Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 8, 1 ( 2013): Pages 4 - 17.
  • Description: In the case of the nocturnal dance, the young girl is identified as having been stolen from her home in the Balkans. This may reflect Italian knowledge of fertility rites practiced outside of Italy.
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Benevento- Italy Bernardino da Siena, Theologian and Saint Dance Witches
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This article takes its starting point in a story from a famous fifteenth-century sermon against sorcery by Bernardino of Siena. The story involves a solitary page travelling through a rural area who finds a group of people dancing on a threshing floor; at dawn, all the dancers vanish but one girl to whom the page is holding fast. This girl is not treated by Bernardino as a sorceress, though the larger context of the story makes the absence of the perception of sorcery something of a puzzle. In search of possible origins for this story, the author examines an array of parallels, suggesting ultimately that Bernardino’s story could be linked to actual folk practices that involved nocturnal dancing. [Reproduced from the journal page on the Project Muse website: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/mrw/]
  • Author's Affiliation: Iowa State University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2013.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 19405111 (online); 15568547 (print)