The Cheese and the Worms

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The Cheese and the Worms

The Cheese and the Worms

The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: JHU Press
  • ISBN: 1421409895
  • Category: History
  • Page: 224
  • View: 4039
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The Cheese and the Worms is an incisive study of popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, the miller known as Menocchio, who was accused of heresy during the Inquisition and sentenced to death. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records to illustrate the confusing political and religious conditions of the time. For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trial testimony he made references to more than a dozen books, including the Bible, Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a "mysterious" book that may have been the Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation: "All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and of that bulk a mass formed—just as cheese is made out of milk—and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels." Ginzburg’s influential book has been widely regarded as an early example of the analytic, case-oriented approach known as microhistory. In a thoughtful new preface, Ginzburg offers his own corollary to Menocchio’s story as he considers the discrepancy between the intentions of the writer and what gets written. The Italian miller’s story and Ginzburg’s work continue to resonate with modern readers because they focus on how oral and written culture are inextricably linked. Menocchio’s 500-year-old challenge to authority remains evocative and vital today. -- Lauro Martines

The Judge and the Historian

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The Judge and the Historian

The Judge and the Historian

Marginal Notes on a Late-Twentieth-Century Miscarriage of Justice

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg,Antony Shugaar
  • Publisher: Verso
  • ISBN: 9781859843710
  • Category: History
  • Page: 211
  • View: 4291
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In The Judge and the Historian, Carlo Ginzburg draws on his work on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century witchcraft trials to dissect the weaknesses and contradictions of Italy's case against Adriano Sofri, figurehead of the Italian Left. Through an analysis of this late-twentieth-century political show-trial, Ginzburg demonstrates the importance of intellectual rigour and passion against political opportunism and dishonesty at the end of the twentieth-century.

Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

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Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: JHU Press
  • ISBN: 1421409909
  • Category: History
  • Page: 213
  • View: 8539
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More than twenty years after Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method was first published in English, this extraordinary collection remains a classic. The book brings together essays about Renaissance witchcraft, National Socialism, sixteenth-century Italian painting, Freud’s wolf-man, and other topics. In the influential centerpiece of the volume Carlo Ginzburg places historical knowledge in a long tradition of cognitive practices and shows how a research strategy based on reading clues and traces embedded in the historical record reveals otherwise hidden information. Acknowledging his debt to art history, psychoanalysis, comparative religion, and anthropology, Ginzburg challenges us to retrieve cultural and social dimensions beyond disciplinary boundaries. In his new preface, Ginzburg reflects on how easily we miss the context in which we read, write, and live. Only hindsight allows some understanding. He examines his own path in research during the 1970s and its relationship to the times, especially the political scenes of Italy and Germany. Was he influenced by the environment, he asks himself, and if so, how? Ginzburg uses his own experience to examine the elusive and constantly evolving nature of history and historical research.

Threads and Traces

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Threads and Traces

Threads and Traces

True False Fictive

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: Univ of California Press
  • ISBN: 0520949846
  • Category: History
  • Page: 336
  • View: 4381
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Carlo Ginzburg’s brilliant and timely new essay collection takes a bold stand against naive positivism and allegedly sophisticated neo-skepticism. It looks deeply into questions raised by decades of post-structuralism: What constitutes historical truth? How do we draw a boundary between truth and fiction? What is the relationship between history and memory? How do we grapple with the historical conventions that inform, in different ways, all written documents? In his answers, Ginzburg peels away layers of subsequent readings and interpretations that envelop every text to make a larger argument about history and fiction. Interwoven with compelling autobiographical references, Threads and Traces bears moving witness to Ginzburg’s life as a European Jew, the abiding strength of his scholarship, and his deep engagement with the historian’s craft.

Ecstasies

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Ecstasies

Ecstasies

Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 9780226296937
  • Category: History
  • Page: 339
  • View: 4384
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Weaving early accounts of witchcraft—trial records, ecclesiastical tracts, folklore, and popular iconography—into new and startling patterns, Carlo Ginzburg presents in Ecstasies compelling evidence of a hidden shamanistic culture that flourished across Europe and in England for thousands of years.

The Night Battles

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The Night Battles

The Night Battles

Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: JHU Press
  • ISBN: 1421409933
  • Category: History
  • Page: 240
  • View: 4144
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Based on research in the Inquisitorial archives of Northern Italy, The Night Battles recounts the story of a peasant fertility cult centered on the benandanti, literally, "good walkers." These men and women described fighting extraordinary ritual battles against witches and wizards in order to protect their harvests. While their bodies slept, the souls of the benandanti were able to fly into the night sky to engage in epic spiritual combat for the good of the village. Carlo Ginzburg looks at how the Inquisition's officers interpreted these tales to support their world view that the peasants were in fact practicing sorcery. The result of this cultural clash, which lasted for more than a century, was the slow metamorphosis of the benandanti into the Inquisition's mortal enemies—witches. Relying upon this exceptionally well-documented case study, Ginzburg argues that a similar transformation of attitudes—perceiving folk beliefs as diabolical witchcraft—took place all over Europe and spread to the New World. In his new preface, Ginzburg reflects on the interplay of chance and discovery, as well as on the relationship between anomalous cultural notions and historical generalizations. -- Peter Burke

The Enigma of Piero

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The Enigma of Piero

The Enigma of Piero

Piero Della Francesca

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: Verso
  • ISBN: 9781859843789
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 158
  • View: 3069
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Looks at the paintings of Piero della Francesca, including the "Baptism of Christ" and the Arezzo Cycle, and provides insight into the lives of patrons and the intriques found in the paintings.

What is Microhistory?

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What is Microhistory?

What is Microhistory?

Theory and Practice

  • Author: Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon,István M. Szijártó
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 1135047073
  • Category: History
  • Page: 184
  • View: 2288
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This unique and detailed analysis provides the first accessible and comprehensive introduction to the origins, development, methodology of microhistory – one of the most significant innovations in historical scholarship to have emerged in the last few decades. The introduction guides the reader through the best-known example of microstoria, The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg, and explains the benefits of studying an event, place or person in microscopic detail. In Part I, István M. Szijártó examines the historiography of microhistory in the Italian, French, Germanic and the Anglo-Saxon traditions, shedding light on the roots of microhistory and asking where it is headed. In Part II, Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon uses a carefully selected case study to show the important difference between the disciplines of macro- and microhistory and to offer practical instructions for those historians wishing to undertake micro-level analysis. These parts are tied together by a Postscript in which the status of microhistory within contemporary historiography is examined and its possibilities for the future evaluated. What is Microhistory? surveys the significant characteristics shared by large groups of microhistorians, and how these have now established an acknowledged place within any general discussion of the theory and methodology of history as an academic discipline.

History, Rhetoric, and Proof

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History, Rhetoric, and Proof

History, Rhetoric, and Proof

  • Author: Carlo Ginzburg
  • Publisher: UPNE
  • ISBN: 9780874519334
  • Category: History
  • Page: 119
  • View: 544
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One of the world's leading historians delivers a pathbreaking analysis of truth and rhetoric in the writing of history.