The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 5, 2011

December 5, 1484

On December 5, 1484, the Pope, Innocent VIII issued a bull, titled Summis desiderantes affectibus. which in  English means: Desiring with supreme ardor (that certain behavior be eliminated). Now this bull is widely considered to be against witchcraft, but critics of the church at the time knew it was directed against critics in general. The reasons the Bull was needed, include:

.[M]any persons of both sexes, unmindful of their own salvation and straying from the Catholic Faith, have abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offences, have slain infants yet in the mother's womb, as also the offspring of cattle, have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, meadows, pasture-land, corn, wheat, and all other cereals; these wretches furthermore afflict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, with terrible and piteous pains and sore diseases, both internal and external; they hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands; over and above this, they blasphemously renounce [the]... Faith ....

Many people would suffer as part of this aspect of Renaissance history, a phenomenon widely mislabeled as medieval . This Pope is said to have hated cats, and certainly many of them also suffered. 

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