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Old 12-19-2011   #1
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The Good Walkers

Anybody ever heard of the Benandanti?

If so, can anyone suggest a good book regarding them?

Many thanks

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Old 12-19-2011   #2
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Re: The Good Walkers

Night Battles, by Carlo Ginzburg It's the only one I know of. However, the Benadanti sound a lot like the dream hunters of Corsica. You may find something interesting if you look them up as well.

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Old 12-19-2011   #3
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Re: The Good Walkers

I was just reading Cullen Murphy's God's Jury, a general history of the Inquisition that talked a little about the Benandanti and Ginzburg. I believe Ginzburg's more recent book Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath also discusses the Benandanti and related phenomena to some extent.

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Last edited by Brendan Moody; 12-19-2011 at 08:16 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-21-2011   #4
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Re: The Good Walkers

Many thanks Mr D and Mr Moody

I will see if I can obtain the titles you suggest. I will also check out the Dream Hunters of Corsica as I have not heard of them before.

Best regards

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Old 12-22-2011   #5
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Re: The Good Walkers

Quote Originally Posted by Brendan Moody View Post
I believe Ginzburg's more recent book Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath also discusses the Benandanti and related phenomena to some extent.
In Ectasies, Ginzburg proposes that the sabbath originates in a fertility cult whose members the benandante claimed they could fly.
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Old 12-22-2011   #6
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Re: The Good Walkers

Quote Originally Posted by Piranesi View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Brendan Moody View Post
I believe Ginzburg's more recent book Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath also discusses the Benandanti and related phenomena to some extent.
In Ectasies, Ginzburg proposes that the sabbath originates in a fertility cult whose members the benandante claimed they could fly.
I wonder if the poisonous and hallucinogenic "flying ointments" played a part. According to the Wikipedia Benandanti page, they denied using "flying ointments", but I suppose anyone would deny such a thing when asked by Inquisitors.
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Old 12-22-2011   #7
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Re: The Good Walkers

Huzzah!

Many thanks Piranesi and Gray House for your responses.

My copy of The Night Battles has arrived and is providing my 'night' reading. Mayhaps it will encourage a little night wandering of my own.
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Old 12-22-2011   #8
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Re: The Good Walkers

The Dream Hunters are called the Mazzeri. They may have been finally wiped out by now; not through persecution but by advent of good roads and universal television service in the island of Corsica. They inherited a Stone Age magical practice that allowed them to travel at night and hunt. Sometimes the animals that they hunted showed the faces of men or women from their villages. When the animal that they slew showed the face of a person that person either sickened and died within a year or died of an accident within a year. They thus participated in, but did not control, the process of death. Dorothy Carrington is the only English language writer who wrote about them. In keeping with the benandanti story, there are reports of the Mazzari of one village having magical battles witht he Mazzari of another village once a year. The winning village had good harvests that year and no one died. The losing village, of course, suffered depridation and had more than its share of death to humans and livestock during the year.

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Old 12-23-2011   #9
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Re: The Good Walkers

Many thanks for that insight, Mr D.

And as if by magic, the book I ordered but a few days ago (Dream Hunters of Corsica) has arrived, cutting its way through the tinsel and tarnish of the festive season! Have just finished chapter 1 in the bath and will now press on with a couple of chapters in bed. Gripping.

Thanks again fellow walkers (good or bad!).

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