The Phantom World: Volume 1

The Phantom World: Volume 1 : Or, the Philosophy of Spirits, Apparitions, Etc

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The Benedictine monk and biblical scholar Antoine Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) published this work in 1746; it was translated into English in 1850 by Henry Christmas (1811-68). It examines a wide selection of supernatural tales and beliefs from across Europe. Taking the stance of a scientific enquirer, Calmet sought to understand the truth behind stories of good and bad angels, vampires, witchcraft, possession by demons, and the dead who come back to life. He compiled accounts of the supernatural from official reports, newspapers, eyewitness accounts and travel writing, and this two-volume anthology of his collected data analyses the material, noting problems and inconsistencies. Volume 1 investigates the appearance of good and bad angels, magic among the Greeks and Romans, sorcerers and witches, and possession by demons. Covering a vast repertory of legends, the work paints a vivid picture of the beliefs entertained in an ostensibly Christian era.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139176412
  • 9781139176415

Table of contents

Introduction; Preface; 1. The appearance of good angels proved by the books of the Old Testament; 2. The appearance of good angels proved by the books of the New Testament; 3. Under what form have good angels appeared?; 4. Opinions of the Jews, Christians, Mahometans, and oriental nations, concerning the apparitions of good angels; 5. Opinion of the Greeks and Romans on the apparitions of good genii; 6. The apparition of bad angels proved by the Holy Scriptures. Under what form they have appeared; 7. Of magic; 8. Objections to the reality of magic; 9. Reply to the objections; 10. Examination of the affair of Hocque, magician; 11. Magic of the Egyptians and Chaldeans; 12. Magic among the Greeks and Romans; 13. Examples which prove the reality of magic; 14. Effects of magic according to the poets; 15. Of the pagan oracles; 16. The certainty of the event predicted, not always a proof that the prediction comes from God; 17. Reasons which lead us to believe that the greater part of the ancient oracles were only impositions of the priests and priestesses, who feigned that they were inspired by God; 18. Of sorcerers and sorceresses, or witches; 19. Instances of sorcerers and witches being, as they said, transported to the Sabbath; 20. Story of Louis Gaufredi and Magdalen de la Palud, owned by themselves to be a sorcerer and sorceress; 21. Reasons which prove the possibility of sorcerers and witches being transported to the Sabbath; 22. Continuation of the same subject; 23. Obsession and possession of the Devil; 24. The truth and reality of possession and obsession by the Devil proved from Scripture; 25. Examples of real possessions caused by the Devil; 26. Continuation of the same subject; 27. Objections against the obsessions and possessions of the demon. Reply to the objections; 28. Continuation of objections against possessions, and some replies to those objections; 29. Of familiar spirits; 30. Some other examples of elves; 31. Spirits that keep watch over treasure; 32. Other instances of hidden treasures, which were guarded by good or bad spirits; 33. Spectres which appear, and predict things unknown and to come; 34. Other apparitions of spectres; 35. Examination of the apparition of a pretended spectre; 36. Of spectres which haunt houses; 37. Other instances of spectres which haunt certain houses; 38. Prodigious effects of imagination in those men or women who believe they hold intercourse with the demon; 39. Return and apparitions of souls after the death of the body, proved from Scripture; 40. Apparitions of spirits proved from history; 41. More instances of apparitions; 42. On the apparitions of spirits who imprint their hands on clothes or on wood; 43. Opinions of the Jews, Greeks, and Latins, concerning the dead who are left unburied; 44. Examination of what is required or revealed to the living by the dead who return to earth; 45. Apparitions of men still alive, to other living men, absent, and very distant from each other; 46. Arguments concerning apparitions; 47. Objections against apparitions, and replies to those objections; 48. Some other objections and replies; 49. The secrets of physics and chemistry taken for supernatural things; 50. Conclusion of the treatise on apparitions; 51. Way of explaining apparitions; 52. The difficulty of explaining the manner in which apparitions make their appearance, whatever system may be proposed on the subject.
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