A little before Christmas 1611, a young girl led her blind, elderly grandmother to a mill-owner’s house to request payment for work recently done. Not wanting to pay up, the mill-owner yelled at the women,
“Get out of my ground, whores and witches, I will burn the one of you, and hang the other.” The elder woman wanted revenge, and she knew how to get it. “The speediest way,”
she later said, “to take a man’s life by witchcraft is to make a picture of clay, like unto the shape of the person whom they mean to kill,” prick it with a thorn or pin to cause pain, burn the clay figure, and “thereupon by that means, the body shall die.”
她后来说，“用巫术夺走一个人的生命就是用粘土画一幅画，就像他们要杀死的人的形状一样，”用刺或针刺穿它以引起疼痛，烧掉粘土雕像，然后“用这种方法，尸体就会死亡。”This woman who believed herself and was believed by others to be a witch was Elizabeth Southerns, also known as Old Demdike. She was 80 years old and one of 20 people arrested in the English Pendle Witch Trials of 1612.
She died awaiting trial, but 10 accused with her were hanged for having bewitched others to death “by devilish practice and hellish means,” including Elizabeth’s granddaughter, Alison.
她在等待审判时死亡，但与她一起被指控的10名被告因“用恶魔般的手段”蛊惑他人致死而被绞死，其中包括伊丽莎白的孙女艾莉森。 Fear of witches and harmful magic, objects as intermediaries for the working of magic, and the use of magic by the powerless to gain agency are all recurring themes in this wonderful, global study of magical beliefs and practices.
We move through time and space from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, through Roman praecantrices (female seers), Zoroastrian magic, medieval Japanese alchemy, and Scandinavian wand-carriers, through to Voudon (Voodoo), Ouija boards, Father Christmas, Wicca, and much else besides.
Magic is as old as humankind. As soon as early people became aware of their environment, they believed it to be filled with spirits whose aid they invoked to control it, either directly through shamans—who they thought could travel into the spirit world—or through art.
It is thought that early people modeled figurines and painted animals on cave walls in the belief that doing so would give them magical power over their world. As societies became more advanced, they brought hierarchy and order to spiritual life.
From around 4000bce, gods paralleled the rulers, priests, and nobility who held sway over Sumerian city-states or the ancient Egyptian kingdom. Far more is known about these more official religions than ever can be about their Neolithic antecedents because of the invention of writing.
There is also more detail about magic, both good and bad. For example, an ancient Babylonian who broke the legs of a clay figurine to prevent a ghost wandering or a witch who tricked the
god Marduk into inflicting disease on an enemy were intentionally harmful. Figurines buried beneath thresholds to prevent evil spirits entering, however, merely acknowledged and acted on the belief in evil forces in the spirit world that needed to be appeased.
Much of the paraphernalia of later magic appears surprisingly early. Ancient Babylonians and Egyptians wore protective amulets and created books of spells. In Egypt, spells were even inscribed on the walls of tombs to give the soul magical protection on its hazardous journey into the afterlife.
国家地理英文教材练习册_DK原版书籍_剑桥牛津杂志桥梁书-悠悠乐英语资源 » DK a history of magic witchcraft & the occult各国魔法史和神秘学