Dancing Plague of 1518

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posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 04:57 PM
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Originally posted by xynephadyn
That is absolutely fantastic! Never heard of it before. Makes you wonder if they were under possession. Very interesting that no one back then called them Witches considering the witch trials were going on- especially when they couldnt stop- when a normal person cannot dance 24 hours straight.

Or maybe they just got into some really good drugs- Ayahuasca, marijuana, coc aine, ergot?


LOL, I hope you said that as a joke.

I don't know how the european people in those years could have an Ayahuasca or coc aine party. Think the were dancing hip hop too?

(Columbus's 1492 landing in the Americas) Spanish used to fill boats with gold, not drugs like narcos.




posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Should have busted out a waltz and slowed those kids down.


Interesting illness, my guess is that "dancing" wasn't really dancing. it was probably some kind of convulsion.

[edit on 3-3-2010 by antonia]

[edit on 3-3-2010 by antonia]



posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by cjcord
 


Hmmm... but the authorities at the time specifically ruled out astrological influence and demonic possession. And I'm sure they had much more experience in those areas than anyone here. Seriously, ergotism is a pretty good fit, but perhaps combined with other environmental and sociological factors. Perhaps it started with ergotism and other members of the community joined in as though it were carnivale.



posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 06:07 PM
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Hmm..

I remember something very like this from a few years ago.
(the source that is not the incident).

16th c border of france/germany though mostly germanic at the time.

Purported seizures like dancing.
Originally put down to posession with the first case.
Then in the second case when the 'victim' was brought to a local church and the audience picked up the tune.

Eventually spread to the clergy and was diagnosed by a non participating doctor as mass hysteria after visiting priests and medics of the time also fell foul to the phomenon .

Interesting indeed.

The source i read put it down to one of the first documented cases of contagion as far as anyone could tell.
(though interpretation obviously)

If anyone can dig something original up on this one please don't hesitate to PM me.

Absence.

P.s.
Sorry, should have said. I'm interested in original sources. (thats eye witness accounts since by my logic if a witness account can be quoted sometime in the 80's it must exist somewhere else in a better form and thats the form i want)

[edit on 3-3-2010 by Absence of Self]



posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 09:23 PM
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First off I have alot of difficulty believing this.. Ive googled it and can only find this isolated case. I find it more a religious fevor(sp). Im not doubting it or writing it off outright. It just seems to unbeleivable.

Obviously this is isolated and unique, not to mention strange. Good find, you piqued my curiosity.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 03:13 AM
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I am inclined to believe that this is not true.
The only thing I can think of that is rational is that the first person was convulsing from a seizure, and the rest were just maniacs or something?



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by InnerTruths
 


It was pretty well documented. It's pretty much definite that it happened; whether it happened exactly as it's described is questionable.

"I don't get it, so I bet it isn't true" -- what an ignorant statement!



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by Absence of Self

P.s.
Sorry, should have said. I'm interested in original sources. (thats eye witness accounts since by my logic if a witness account can be quoted sometime in the 80's it must exist somewhere else in a better form and thats the form i want)


I agree -- this is a very interesting topic. I remember references to it back in my grad school days, but don't remember what the primary sources were.

Wikipedia lists this article as a source, which in turn should have the reference to the primary source the author (Waller) used. So far I haven't found a way to access the article for free online though


edit:

Here's the image of Waller's 2009 book on the incident at Google Books. Endnotes start at page 234. I'll copy in the first part of the first note, since it seems to answer our question:


This accounnt of Frau Troffea's dance is based largely on Paracelsus' description in his 1531 work, Opus Paramirum; only he provides a name for the first person to succumb to the dance frenzy. See Theophrastus Paracelsus, Volumen Paramirum und Opus Paramirum (Jena: E. Diederichs, 1904). A translation of this and other contemporary accounts can be found in Eugene Louis Backman, Religious Dances in the Christian Church and in Popular Medicine, translated by E. Classen (London: Allen & Unwin, 1952), pp. 314-15. See also George Rosen, Madness in Society: Chapters in the Historical Sociology of Mental Illness (London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1968), which contains a detailed discussion of the dancing manias; the English language version of Justus Friedrich Carl Hecker, The Black Death and the Dancing Mania, translated by B.G. Babington (London: Cassell, 1894); and the highly incisive analysis in H.C. Erik Midelfort, A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999). ...


Here's a link for the Paracelsus at Open Source Books.

editing again: Oh well, that seems to be just the introductory remarks to part of the Volumen Paramirum and doesn't include the 1518 dancing plague description. If I turn it up online, I'll edit again, but a trip to the library might be required



[edit on 3/4/2010 by americandingbat]



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 06:40 PM
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Thats ace, what a way to go.. death by dancing!



The authorities did this because they believed that the dancers would only recover if they danced continually night and day.


Id love to know on what basis that decision was made.


Also, it says most people died. Wonder what happened to the survivors?


Whether its true or not, its quite funny to picture a band playing away (I imagine they would have being playing 15th century versions of 'I dont feel like dancing', and 'blame it on the boogie'), and then one by one the people started dropping dead.
One would have thought as well that by the time a few of them died they would have realised that the cure wasnt going to be found in just letting them get on with it!



posted on Mar, 5 2010 @ 05:29 AM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Why does the "Safety Dance" music video come to mind?




posted on Mar, 5 2010 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by xynephadyn


Or maybe they just got into some really good drugs- Ayahuasca, marijuana, coc aine, ergot?


just wanted to point out that anyone stoned off of marijuana would not be capable of dancing for than a few hours... then they would just get tired and fall asleep... or so I've heard


oh, and I dont think I would consider coc aine a good drug, as the health problems it causes are quite significant, and the more natural drugs such as Ayahuasca and marijuana can have quite positive effects on both the mind and body.



posted on Mar, 5 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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some general info about Dancing Mania:
Dancing Mania (as far back as the 1300's!)



Having occurred to thousands of people across several centuries, dancing mania was not a local event, and was, therefore, well-documented in contemporary writings. More outbreaks were reported in the Netherlands, Cologne, Metz, and later Strasbourg (Dancing Plague of 1518), apparently following pilgrimage routes.

Men, women, and children would dance through the streets of towns or cities, sometimes foaming at the mouth until they collapsed from fatigue.







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