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10 Bodin’s Démonomanie in the German Vernacular

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Chapter Summary

Jean Bodin's Démonomanie had a reception in the German vernacular. Bodin not only serves as one of the authorities to prove that witches are real and dangerous, but also as a well-used source of first-hand and reliable example stories. This chapter considers the most striking proof of Bodin's popularity, which is the long and successful sequence of German translations of the Démonomanie. The Démonomanie remains in Johann Fischart's opinion worth reading as it contains important facts and insights. To guide the reader through the maze of true and false judgements, he announces his intention to employ a system of marginal notes and commentaries in brackets to flag or augment dubious passages. A striking example of these commentaries can be found in Dämonomanie. The text begins by describing the position of humankind in the order of creation more closely, deploying arguments derived from Renaissance Neoplatonism.

Keywords: Bodin's Démonomanie; Johann Fischart; Renaissance Neoplatonism



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