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Demons: Mediators between This World and the Other

Essays on Demonic Beings from the Middle Ages to the Present

Ruth Petzoldt and Paul Neubauer

This volume presents a chronological series of essays on various demonic traits and traditions handed down from classical antiquity, reinterpreted and systematized in the Middle Ages in Europe, and extending their influences to our present day and culture. The main focus lies on the adaptation and reformulation of specific demonological constellations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, combining ethnological approaches with concepts of cultural history and their reflection in the arts and in literature. These superhuman and supernatural entities present us with a multitude of forms, figures, and functions - from helpful messengers and mediators to frightful and devilish antagonists of the humans they encounter. As model explanations of that which may not be explained in any other way they offer answers and interpretations of the 'Other' outside humanity as well as inside the human being.