The Old World's Medieval Untouchables and Other Random Historical Facts
The Old World’s Medieval Untouchables and Other Random Historical Facts

The Old World’s Medieval Untouchables and Other Random Historical Facts

Khalid Elhassan - March 17, 2020

The Old World’s Medieval Untouchables and Other Random Historical Facts
Milan in 1630, during a plague. Wikimedia

1. Hysteria Led People to Voluntarily Accuse Themselves

As Milan’s mass hysteria and mounting insanity tightened its grip on the fevered city, many Milanese stepped forward to accuse… themselves. Many went to the magistrates and voluntarily confessed to amazing deeds of the supernatural, describing meetings with the Devil, witches, sorcerers, and sundry practitioners of black magic, in which they plotted to poison the city.

As reported, “The number of persons who confessed that they were employed by the Devil to distribute poison is almost incredible“. Many were executed based on their voluntary false confessions. The hysteria did not subside until the city was struck by an even bigger catastrophe: an actual plague that swept through Italy and lasted into 1631.

_________________

Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Bartholomew, Robert E. – Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion

Bleacher Report – MMA History: How Pankration Champion Arrichion Won Olympic Crown After His Death

Chortle – You’d Never Get Away With It Today: Six Comedy Icons With a Seedy Reputation

Cracked – 5 Weird AF Facts History Class Left Out

Eisler, Benita – Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame (1999)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

Encyclopedia Britannica – Pancho Villa

Evans, Hilary, and Bartholomew, Roberts – Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior: Milan Poisoning Scare (2009)

Geosphere, Volume 13, Number 3 (2017) – What Happens to the Boats? The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and Portuguese Tsunami Literacy

Gonick, Larry – The Cartoon History of the Universe II (1994)

Imperial War Museum – Grenade, Anti-Tank, No. 74 Mk I (‘Sticky Bomb’)

Independent, July 28th, 2008 – The Last Untouchable in Europe

MacCarthy, Fiona – Byron: Life and Legend (2002)

Maland, Charles J. – Chaplin and American Culture (1989)

National WWII Museum – Bea Arthur, US Marine

United States Army Center of Military History – Reports of General MacArthur, the Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific, Volume I, Chapter XIII: “Downfall”, the Plan For the Invasion of Japan

Arnold, Oren – The Mexican Centaur: An Intimate Biography of Pancho Villa (1979)

Whiting, Marvin C. – Imperial Chinese Military History (2002)

Wikipedia – Frane Selak

Wikipedia – Operation Downfall

Wikipedia – Sticky Bomb

Advertisement