Johannes Nider ( – ) was a German theologian and member of the Dominican order. His work Formicarius, published around , is an important. Johannes Nider’s Formicarius was a demonological treatise written during the Council of Basel in Switzerland. Nider’s treatise detailed the. Formicarius. Front Cover · Johannes Nider. Formicarius: Dialogus ad vitam christianam exemplo conditionum Formice Johannes Nider Full view -.
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The Formicariuswritten by Johannes Nider during the Council of Basel and first printed inis the second book ever printed to discuss witchcraft the first book being Fortalitium Fidei . Nider dealt specifically with witchcraft in the fifth section of the book.
Unlike his successors, he did not emphasize the idea of the Witches’ Sabbath and was skeptical of the claim nidr witches could fly by night. With over 25 manuscript copies from fifteenth and early sixteenth century editions from the s tothe Formicarius is an important work for the study of the origins of the witch trials in Early Modern Europeas it sheds light on their earliest phase during the first half of the 15th century.
Nider was one of the first to transform the idea of sorcery to its more modern perception of witchcraft. Prior to the fifteenth century, magic was thought to be performed by educated males who performed intricate rituals. In Nider’s Formicariusthe witch is described as uneducated and more commonly female. The idea that any persons could perform acts of magic simply by devoting themselves to the devil scared people of this time and proved to be one of the many factors that led people to begin fearing magic [ citation needed ].
The idea that the magician was primarily female was also shocking to some. Nider explained that females were capable of such acts by pointing out what he considered their inferior physical, mental and moral capacity. The work is further of note for its information regarding notably infamous figures of the time, one of whom was the sorcerer Scavius, who reputedly escaped his enemies on multiple occasions by metamorphosing into a mouse. The title is Latin for “the ant colony”, an allusion to Proverbs 6: Nider used the ant colony as a metaphor for a harmonious nder.
The Formicarius was written between andwhile Nider was part of the theological faculty nuder the University of Vienna.
Medieval European History | Formicarius
Jjohannes of these accounts are representative of the late medieval religious atmosphere of what is now Switzerland fogmicarius, southern GermanyAustriaand the southern Rhineland. This region is also where the book was most widely read. Many of the stories relating to witchcraft take place in the Simme Valley and were told to Nider by Peter of Bernwho had conducted many witch trials in the region. There were other books written about witchcraft before this.
Probably the most famous one was written by French Inquisitor Bernard Gui around Please see link for more information: The Formicarius uses a teacher-pupil dialogue as its format. The teacher is a theologian who is clearly meant to be Nider himself, while the student is presented as a curious but lazy individual who is there primarily to prompt the theologian to recount contemporary stories related to the book’s many themes. In each case, the student quickly becomes bored and asks for contemporary examples.
After the theologian would present these, the student asks clarifying questions that Nider used to dispel what he saw as common misconceptions. The treatise is organized the various forms and conditions of the lives of ants. The first book focuses on the deeds of good men and women and is organized around the occupations of ants. The second book, dealing with revelations, was based on ants’ varied means of locomotion.
The third book examines false visions and uses the variable sizes and kinds of ants. The fourth book deals with the virtues of saints and other holy people, using the stages of an ant’s life cycle.
Johannes Nider. Formicarius (The Ant Hill). Second edition, ca. 1484.
The fifth book, on witches, is structured around the colors of ants. Additionally, each of the twelve chapters of each book was based on one of sixty conditions of ants’ formicariud. This complex system of using ants as metaphors for various aspects of Christian belief and practice is only really addressed in the first few lines of each chapter, after which Nider focuses on whatever theme he means to address with almost no further reference to ants.
The Formicarius would have functioned as a kind of preacher’s manual, with stories tailor-made for use in sermons. Nider, a Dominican reformer himself, intended the book to reach as wide an audience as possible through its use in popular sermons.
According to Bailey, Nider was much more focused on reform in general, which was opposed by demons, who worked their opposition through subservient witches.
Formicarius – Wikipedia
Nider presents reform and proper adherence to Dominican rites as the surest counter to witchcraft. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the book. For information about the antthrush genus, see Formicarius genus.
Pennsylvania State University Press. From Sorcery to Witchcraft: Witchcraft in Europe, University of Pennsylvania Press,p. Martha Brossier Labourd witch-hunt of Aix-en-Provence possessions Loudun possessions Louviers possessions Affair of the Poisons Valais witch trials —47 Val Camonica witch trialsNavarre witch trials Polula witch trials Lisbon witch trial Benandanti Fairy witch trials of Sicily Basque witch trials Roermond witch trial Spa witch trial Terrassa witch trials Werewolf witch trials Witch trial of Nogaredo —47 Salzburg witch trials —81 Northern Moravia witch trials Liechtenstein witch trials —82 Szeged witch trials —29 Doruchowo witch trial Salem witch trials — Retrieved from ” https: All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from April All stub articles.
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