Wednesday, October 19, 2011

“a matter of common report”

I have to quote this excerpt from the medieval guidebook to the prosecution of witches, Malleus Maleficarium. The author takes as a given that everybody knows about “those witches who … sometimes collect male organs [yes, penises] in great numbers, as many as twenty or thirty members together, and put them in a bird’s nest or shut them up in a box, where they move themselves like living members, and eat oats and corn, as has been seen by many and is a matter of common report[.]” (The ellipsis is in the original excerpt.)

source: Bonk: the curious coupling of science and sex by Mary Roach


Elisabeth said...

Good grief, that's one for he history books, Glenn. The mind boggles.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Party favors at the Witches' Ball?