Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Heresy

Marginalia of the earliest known illustrated example of a witch on a broomstick in the 1451 manuscript, Hexenflug der Vaudoises (Flight of the Witches), authored by Martin Le France (1410-1461). 
Text from the mid-fifteenth century, Johannes Tinctoris's Traite du crisme de Vauderie, illustrating an image of a Waldensian sabbat and their worship of a goat/devil. (Note the spirits in the sky with one on a broomstick.) The Waldensians were considered to be a heretical sect and demonized as servants of Satan in the middle ages. Animal worship > heresy? The Age of Enlightement didn't happen soon enough.
     Below is a woodcut from a collection compiled by William Dodd dating between 1641 and 1750 showing two witches and a devil on broomsticks. Sorry the rez is so low, but it must have had a hex placed upon it.

Though not a witch, this fifteenth century, fractur-licking peasant guy has a frighteningly uncanny resemblance to Moe on The Simpsons. As found on Got Medieval, who cleverly connected the dots/pixels to this mystery of animated ancestry.
::Bewitching images above from Bibliotheque Nationale de France via the Streets of Salem and the Flying Waldensians. Another hat tip goes out to Bollocks and Broomsticks for shedding more light on witches' broomsticks than I care to know.

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