Cross Road Blues
"Cross Road Blues" is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. Johnson performed it as a solo piece with his vocal and acoustic slide guitar in the Delta blues-style; the song has become part of the Robert Johnson mythology as referring to the place where he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical talents, although the lyrics do not contain any specific references. Bluesman Elmore James revived the song with recordings in 1954 and 1960–1961. English guitarist Eric Clapton with Cream popularized the song as "Crossroads" in the late 1960s, their blues rock interpretation inspired many cover versions and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included it as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Rolling Stone placed it at number three on the magazine's list of the "Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" in recognition of Clapton's guitar work. Little is known about Johnson's life and musical career, although his recordings are well documented.
In October 1936, Johnson auditioned for music store owner and sometime talent scout H. C. Speir in Jackson, Mississippi. After a second audition, Oertle arranged for Johnson to travel to San Antonio, for a recording session. Johnson recorded 22 songs for ARC over three days from November 23 to 27, 1936. During the first session, he recorded his most commercially appealing songs, they represented his original pieces and reflected current, piano-influenced musical trends. The songs include "Terraplane Blues" along with "Sweet Home Chicago" and "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom", which became blues standards after others recorded them. A second and third recording date took place in San Antonio after a two-day break. Johnson reached back into his long-standing repertoire for songs to record; the material reflects the styles of country blues performers Charley Patton and Son House, who influenced Johnson in his youth. The songs are among Johnson's most heartfelt and forceful, music historian Ted Gioia sees a shift in the lyrical themes: At the close of the San Antonio session, the darker, more apocalyptic side of Johnson's work emerges... evokes the themes of damnation and redemption and light... glimpses into the musician's inner life, all its attendant turmoils.
"Cross Road Blues" was recorded during Johnson's third session in San Antonio, on Friday November 27, 1936. The sessions continued at an improvised studio in Room 414 at the Gunter Hotel. ARC producers Art Satherley and Don Law supervised the recording and used a portable disc cutting machine, it is unknown what input, if any, they had into Johnson's selection of material to record or how to present it. Two similar takes of the song were recorded. A crossroads or an intersection of rural roads is one of the few landmarks in the Mississippi Delta, a flat featureless plain between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, it is part of the local iconography and various businesses use the name, such as gas stations and retail shops. A crossroads is where cars are more to slow down or stop, thus presenting the best opportunity for a hitchiker. In the simplest reading, Johnson describes his grief at being unable to catch a ride at an intersection before the sun sets. However, many see different levels of meaning and some have attached a supernatural significance to the song.
Both versions of the song open with the protagonist kneeling at a crossroads to ask God's mercy, while the second sections tells of his failed attempts to hitch a ride. In the third and fourth sections, he expresses apprehension at being stranded as darkness approaches and asks that his friend Willie Brown be advised that "I'm sinkin' down"; the first take of the song, used for the single, includes a fifth verse, not included in the second take. In it he laments not having a "sweet woman" in his distress; the song has been used to perpetuate the myth of Johnson selling his soul to the Devil for his musical ability. The lyrics do not contain any references to Satan or a Faustian bargain, but they have been interpreted as a description of the singer's fear of losing his soul to the Devil. Music historian Elijah Wald believes. Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson promoted himself as having made a deal with the Devil and Southern folklore identifies a crossroads or graveyard as the site of such a pact, which Wald identifies as sources of the myth.
However, musicologist Robert Palmer points out that Johnson was "fascinated with and obsessed by supernatural imagery." His song "Hellhound on My Trail" tells of trying to stay ahead of the demon hound, pursuing him and in "Me and the Devil Blues" he sings, "Early this mornin' when you knocked upon my door, I said'Hello Satan I believe it's time to go'". These songs contribute to the Faustian myth. Blues historian Samuel Charters sees the song as having elements of protest and social commentary; the second verse includes "the sun goin' down now boy, dark gon' catch me here", a reference to the "sundown laws" or curfew during racial segregation in the United States. Signs in the rural South advised "Nigger, don't let the sun set on you here". Johnson may be expressing a real fear of trumped up vagrancy charges or lynchings that still took place. Others suggest that the song is about a more personal loneliness. Writers Barry Lee Pearson and Bill McCulloch argue that the fifth verse in the single version captures the essence of the s
The soul, in many religious and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal essence of a living being. Soul or psyche are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, feeling, memory, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be immortal. In Judeo-Christianity, only human beings have immortal souls. For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal. Other religions hold that all living things from the smallest bacterium to the largest of mammals are the souls themselves and have their physical representative in the world; the actual self is the soul, while the body is only a mechanism to experience the karma of that life. Thus if we see a tiger there is a self-conscious identity residing in it, a physical representative in the world; some teach that non-biological entities possess souls. This belief is called animism. Greek philosophers, such as Socrates and Aristotle, understood that the soul must have a logical faculty, the exercise of, the most divine of human actions.
At his defense trial, Socrates summarized his teaching as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence. The current consensus of modern science is that there is no evidence to support the existence of the soul when traditionally defined as the spiritual breath of the body. In metaphysics, the concept of "Soul" may be equated with that of "Mind" in order to refer to the consciousness and intellect of the individual; the Modern English word "soul", derived from Old English sáwol, sáwel, was first attested in the 8th century poem Beowulf v. 2820 and in the Vespasian Psalter 77.50. It is cognate with other German and Baltic terms for the same idea, including Gothic saiwala, Old High German sêula, sêla, Old Saxon sêola, Old Low Franconian sêla, sîla, Old Norse sála and Lithuanian siela. Deeper etymology of the Germanic word is unclear; the original concept behind the Germanic root is thought to mean “coming from or belonging to the sea ”, because of the Germanic and pre-Celtic belief in souls emerging from and returning to sacred lakes, Old Saxon sêola compared to Old Saxon sêo.
The Koine Greek Septuagint uses ψυχή to translate Hebrew נפש, meaning "life, vital breath", refers to a mortal, physical life, but in English it is variously translated as "soul, life, person, mind, living being, emotion, passion". Vulgate – Creavitque Deus cete grandia, et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem. Authorized King James Version – "And God created great whales, every living creature that moveth."The Koine Greek word ψυχή, "life, consciousness", is derived from a verb meaning "to cool, to blow", hence refers to the breath, as opposed to σῶμα, meaning "body". Psychē occurs juxtaposed to σῶμα, as seen in Matthew 10:28: Greek – καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν μὴ δυναμένων ἀποκτεῖναι· φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι ἐν γεέννῃ. Vulgate – et nolite timere eos qui occidunt corpus animam autem non possunt occidere sed potius eum timete qui potest et animam et corpus perdere in gehennam. Authorized King James Version – "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him, able to destroy both soul and body in hell."Paul the Apostle used ψυχή and πνεῦμα to distinguish between the Jewish notions of נפש and רוח ruah.
In the ancient Egyptian religion, an individual was believed to be made up of various elements, some physical and some spiritual. Similar ideas are found in ancient Babylonian religion. Kuttamuwa, an 8th-century BCE royal official from Sam'al, ordered an inscribed stele erected upon his death; the inscription requested that his mourners commemorate his life and his afterlife with feasts "for my soul, in this stele". It is one of the earliest references to a soul as a separate entity from the body; the 800-pound basalt stele is 2 ft wide. It was uncovered in the third season of excavations by the Neubauer Expedition of the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois; the Bahá'í Faith affirms that "the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, whose mystery no mind, however acute, can hope to unravel". Bahá'u'lláh stated that the soul not only continues to live after the physical death of the human body, but is, in fact, immortal. Heaven can be seen as the soul's state of nearness to God.
Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually. Bahá'u'lláh taught that individuals have no existence prior to their life here on earth and the soul's evolution is always towards God and away from the material world. Buddhism teaches that all things are in a constant
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend, based on the historical Johann Georg Faust. The erudite Faust is successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures; the Faust legend has been the basis for many literary, artistic and musical works that have reinterpreted it through the ages. "Faust" and the adjective "Faustian" imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term. The Faust of early books—as well as the ballads, dramas and puppet-plays which grew out of them—is irrevocably damned because he prefers human to divine knowledge. Plays and comic puppet theatre loosely based on this legend were popular throughout Germany in the 16th century reducing Faust and Mephistopheles to figures of vulgar fun; the story was popularised in England by Christopher Marlowe, who gave it a classic treatment in his play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.
In Goethe's reworking of the story two hundred years Faust becomes a dissatisfied intellectual who yearns for "more than earthly meat and drink" in his life. Faust is depressed with his life as a scholar. After an attempt to take his own life, he calls on the Devil for further knowledge and magic powers with which to indulge all the pleasure and knowledge of the world. In response, the Devil's representative, appears, he makes a bargain with Faust: Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magic powers for a set number of years, but at the end of the term, the Devil will claim Faust's soul, Faust will be eternally enslaved. During the term of the bargain, Faust makes use of Mephistopheles in various ways. In Goethe's drama, many subsequent versions of the story, Mephistopheles helps Faust seduce a beautiful and innocent girl named Gretchen, whose life is destroyed when she gives birth to Faust's bastard son. Realizing this unholy act, she drowns the child, is held for murder. However, Gretchen's innocence saves her in the end, she enters Heaven after execution.
In Goethe's rendition, Faust is saved by God via his constant striving—in combination with Gretchen's pleadings with God in the form of the eternal feminine. However, in the early tales, Faust is irrevocably corrupted and believes his sins cannot be forgiven. Many aspects of the life of Simon Magus are echoed in the Faust legend of Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Hans Jonas writes, "surely few admirers of Marlowe's and Goethe's plays have an inkling that their hero is the descendant of a gnostic sectary and that the beautiful Helen called up by his art was once the fallen Thought of God through whose raising mankind was to be saved." The tale of Faust bears many similarities to the Theophilus legend recorded in the 13th century, writer Gautier de Coincy's Les Miracles de la Sainte Vierge. Here, a saintly figure makes a bargain with the keeper of the infernal world but is rescued from paying his debt to society through the mercy of the Blessed Virgin. A depiction of the scene in which he subordinates himself to the Devil appears on the north tympanum of the Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris.
The origin of Faust's name and persona remains unclear. The character is ostensibly based on Johann Georg Faust, a magician and alchemist from Knittlingen, Württemberg, who obtained a degree in divinity from Heidelberg University in 1509, but the legendary Faust has been connected with Johann Fust, Johann Gutenberg's business partner, or suggest that Fust is one of the multiple origins to the Faust story. Scholars such as Frank Baron and Leo Ruickbie contest many of these previous assumptions; the character in Polish folklore named. The Polish story seems to have originated at the same time as its German counterpart, yet It is unclear whether the two tales have a common origin or influenced each other; the historical Johann Georg Faust had studied in Kraków for a time, may have served as the inspiration for the character in the Polish legend. The first known printed source of the legend of Faust is a small chapbook bearing the title Historia von D. Johann Fausten, published in 1587; the book was borrowed from throughout the 16th century.
Other similar books of that period include: Das Wagnerbuch Das Widmann'sche Faustbuch Dr. Fausts großer und gewaltiger Höllenzwang Dr. Johannes Faust, Magia naturalis et innaturalis Das Pfitzer'sche Faustbuch Dr. Fausts großer und gewaltiger Meergeist Das Wagnerbuch Faustbuch des Christlich Meynenden The 1725 Faust chapbook was circulated and read by the young Goethe. Related tales about a pact between man and the Devil include the plays Mariken van Nieumeghen and The Countess Cathleen. Staufen, a town in the extreme southwest of Germany, claims to be; the only historical source for this tradition is a passage in the Chronik der Grafen von Zimmern, written around 1565, 25 years after Faust's presumed death. These chronicles are considered reliable, in the 16th century there wer
Insanity and craziness are terms that describe a spectrum of individual and group behaviors that are characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity can be manifest as violations of societal norms, including a person or persons becoming a danger to themselves or to other people. Conceptually, mental insanity is associated with the biological phenomenon of contagion as in the case of copycat suicides. In contemporary usage, the term insanity is an informal, un-scientific term denoting "mental instability". In medicine, the general term psychosis is used to include the presence either of delusions or of hallucinations or both in a patient. In English, the word "sane" derives from the Latin adjective sanus meaning "healthy". Juvenal's phrase mens sana in corpore sano is translated to mean a "healthy mind in a healthy body". From this perspective, insanity can be considered as poor health of the mind, not of the brain as an organ, but rather refers to defective function of mental processes such as reasoning.
Another Latin phrase related to our current concept of sanity is "compos mentis", a euphemistic term for insanity is "non compos mentis". In law, mens rea means having had a guilty mind, when the act was committed. A more informal use of the term insanity is to denote something or someone considered unique, passionate or extreme, including in a positive sense; the term may be used as an attempt to discredit or criticise particular ideas, principles, personal feelings, attitudes, or their proponents, such as in politics and religion. Madness, the non-legal word for insanity, has been recognized throughout history in every known society; some traditional cultures have turned to witch doctors or shamans to apply magic, herbal mixtures, or folk medicine to rid deranged persons of evil spirits or bizarre behavior, for example. Archaeologists have unearthed skulls that have round holes bored in them using flint tools, it has been conjectured that the subjects may have been thought to have been possessed by spirits which the holes would allow to escape.
However, more recent research on the historical practice of trepanning supports the hypothesis that this procedure was medical in nature and intended as means of treating cranial trauma. The Greeks appeared to share something of today's secular and holistic view, believing that afflictions of the mind did not differ from diseases of the body. Moreover, they saw mental and physical illness as a result of natural causes and an imbalance in bodily humors. Hippocrates wrote that an excess of black bile resulted in irrational thinking and behavior. Romans made other contributions to psychiatry, in particular a precursor of some contemporary practice, they put forward the idea that strong emotions could lead to bodily ailments, the basis of today’s theory of psychosomatic illness. The Romans supported humane treatment of the mentally ill, in so doing codified into law the principle of insanity as a mitigation of responsibility for criminal acts, although the criterion for insanity was set as the defendant had to be found "non compos mentis", a term meaning "not sound of mind".
The Middle Ages, witnessed the end of the progressive ideas of the Greeks and Romans. During the 18th century, the French and the British introduced humane treatment of the clinically insane, though the criteria for diagnosis and placement in an asylum were looser than today including such conditions as speech disorder, speech impediments and depression or being pregnant out of wedlock. Europe's oldest asylum was the precursor of today's Bethlem Royal Hospital in London, known as Bedlam, which began admitting the mentally ill in 1403 and is mentioned in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; the first American asylum was built in Williamsburg, circa 1773. Before the 19th century these hospitals were used to isolate the mentally ill or the ostracized from society rather than cure them or maintain their health. Pictures from this era portrayed patients bound with rope or chains to beds or walls, or restrained in straitjackets. Insanity is no longer considered a medical diagnosis but is a legal term in the United States, stemming from its original use in common law.
The disorders encompassed by the term covered a wide range of mental disorders now diagnosed as bipolar disorder, organic brain syndromes and other psychotic disorders. In United States criminal law, insanity may serve as an affirmative defense to criminal acts and thus does not need to negate an element of the prosecution's case such as general or specific intent; each U. S. state differs somewhat in its definition of insanity but most follow the guidelines of the Model Penal Code. All jurisdictions require a sanity evaluation to address the question first of whether or not the defendant has a mental illness. Most courts accept a major mental illness such as psychosis but will not accept the diagnosis of a personality disorder for the purposes of an insanity defense; the second question is whether the mental illness interfered with the defendant's ability to distinguish right from wrong. That is, did the defendant know that the alleged behavior was against the law at the time the offense was committed.
Additionally, some jurisdictions add the question of whether or not the defendant was in control of their behavior at the time of the offense. For example, if the defendant was compelled by some aspect of the
A witch-hunt or witch purge is a search for people labelled "witches" or evidence of witchcraft involving moral panic or mass hysteria. The classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America took place in the Early Modern period or about 1450 to 1750, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War, resulting in an estimated 35,000 to 100,000 executions; the last executions of people convicted as witches in Europe took place in the 18th century. In other regions, like Africa and Asia, contemporary witch-hunts have been reported from Sub-Saharan Africa and Papua New Guinea and official legislation against witchcraft is still found in Saudi Arabia and Cameroon today. In current language, "witch-hunt" metaphorically means an investigation conducted with much publicity to uncover subversive activity, disloyalty and so on, but to weaken political opposition; the wide distribution of the practice of witch-hunts in geographically and culturally separated societies since the 1960s has triggered interest in the anthropological background of this behaviour.
The belief in magic and divination, attempts to use magic to influence personal well-being are human cultural universals. Belief in witchcraft has been shown to have similarities in societies throughout the world, it presents a framework to explain the occurrence of otherwise random misfortunes such as sickness or death, the witch sorcerer provides an image of evil. Reports on indigenous practices in the Americas and Africa collected during the early modern age of exploration have been taken to suggest that not just the belief in witchcraft but the periodic outbreak of witch-hunts are a human cultural universal. One study finds that witchcraft beliefs are associated with antisocial attitudes: lower levels of trust, charitable giving and group participation. Another study finds that income shocks lead to a large increase in the murder of "witches" in Tanzania. Punishment for malevolent sorcery is addressed in the earliest law codes; the Code of Hammurabi prescribes that If a man has put a spell upon another man and it is not yet justified, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river.
If the holy river overcome him and he is drowned, the man who put the spell upon him shall take possession of his house. If the holy river declares him innocent and he remains unharmed the man who laid the spell shall be put to death, he that plunged into the river shall take possession of the house of him who laid the spell upon him. No laws concerning magic survive from Classical Athens. However, cases concerning the harmful effects of pharmaka – an ambiguous term that might mean "poison", "medicine", or "magical drug" – do survive those where the drug caused injury or death. Antiphon's speech "Against the Stepmother for Poisoning" tells of the case of a woman accused of plotting to murder her husband with a pharmakon; the most detailed account of a trial for witchcraft in Classical Greece is the story of Theoris of Lemnos, executed along with her children some time before 338 BC for casting incantations and using harmful drugs. In 451 BC, the Twelve Tables of Roman law had provisions against evil incantations and spells intended to damage cereal crops.
In 331 BC, 170 women were executed as witches in the context of an epidemic illness. Livy emphasizes. In 186 BC, the Roman senate issued a decree restricting the Bacchanalia, ecstatic rites celebrated in honor of Dionysus. Livy records that this persecution was because "there was nothing wicked, nothing flagitious, that had not been practiced among them". Consequent to the ban, in 184 BC, about 2,000 people were executed for witchcraft, in 182–180 BC another 3,000 executions took place, again triggered by the outbreak of an epidemic. There is no way to verify the figures reported by Roman historians, but if they are taken at face value, the scale of the witch-hunts in the Roman Republic in relation to the population of Italy at the time far exceeded anything that took place during the "classical" witch-craze in Early Modern Europe. Persecution of witches continued in the Roman Empire until the late 4th century AD and abated only after the introduction of Christianity as the Roman state religion in the 390s.
The Lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficiis promulgated by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 81 BC became an important source of late medieval and early modern European law on witchcraft. This law banned the trading and possession of harmful drugs and poisons, possession of magical books and other occult paraphernalia. Strabo, Gaius Maecenas and Cassius Dio all reiterate the traditional Roman opposition against sorcery and divination, Tacitus used the term religio-superstitio to class these outlawed observances. Emperor Augustus strengthened legislation aimed at curbing these practices, for instance in 31 BC, by burning over 2,000 magical books in Rome, except for certain portions of the hallowed Sibylline Books. In AD 354, while Tiberius Claudius was emperor, 45 men and 85 women, who were all suspected of sorcery, were executed; the Hebrew Bible condemns sorcery. Deuteronomy 18:10–12 states: "No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one that casts spells, or who consults gh
Christian mythology is the body of myths associated with Christianity. The term encompasses a broad variety of legends and stories those considered sacred narratives. Mythological themes and elements occur throughout Christian literature, including recurring myths such as ascending to a mountain, the axis mundi, myths of combat, descent into the Underworld, accounts of a dying-and-rising god, flood stories, stories about the founding of a tribe or city, myths about great heroes of the past and self-sacrifice. Various authors have used it to refer to other mythological and allegorical elements found in the Bible, such as the story of the Leviathan; the term has been applied to myths and legends from the Middle Ages, such as the story of Saint George and the Dragon, the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, the legends of the Parsival. Multiple commentators have classified John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost as a work of Christian mythology; the term has been applied to modern stories revolving around Christian themes and motifs, such as the writings of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle, George MacDonald.
Over the centuries, Christianity has divided into many denominations. Not all of these denominations hold the same set of sacred traditional narratives. For example, the books of the Bible accepted by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches include a number of texts and stories that many Protestant denominations do not accept as canonical. Christian theologian and professor of New Testament, Rudolf Bultmann wrote that: The cosmology of the New Testament is mythical in character; the world is viewed as a three storied structure, with the earth in the center, the heaven above, the underworld beneath. Heaven is the abode of celestial beings -- the angels; the underworld is the place of torment. The earth is more than the scene of natural, everyday events, of the trivial round and common task, it is the scene of the supernatural activity of God and his angels on the one hand, of Satan and his demons on the other. These supernatural forces intervene in the course of nature and in all that men think and will and do.
Miracles are by no means rare. Man is not in control of his own life. Evil spirits may take possession of him. Satan may inspire him with evil thoughts. Alternatively, God may guide his purposes, he may grant him heavenly visions. He may allow him to hear his word of demand, he may give him the supernatural power of his Spirit. History does not follow a smooth unbroken course; this æon is held in bondage by Satan and death, hastens towards its end. That end will come soon, will take the form of a cosmic catastrophe, it will be inaugurated by the "woes" of the last time. The Judge will come from heaven, the dead will rise, the last judgment will take place, men will enter into eternal salvation or damnation. In its broadest academic sense, the word myth means a traditional story. However, many scholars restrict the term "myth" to sacred stories. Folklorists go further, defining myths as "tales believed as true sacred, set in the distant past or other worlds or parts of the world, with extra-human, inhuman, or heroic characters".
In classical Greek, from which the English word myth derives, meant "story, narrative." By the time of Christ, muthos had started to take on the connotations of "fable, fiction," and early Christian writers avoided calling a story from canonical scripture a "myth". Paul warned Timothy to have nothing to do with "godless and silly myths"; this negative meaning of "myth" passed into popular usage. Some modern Christian scholars and writers have attempted to rehabilitate the term "myth" outside academia, describing stories in canonical scripture as "true myth". Several modern Christian writers, such as C. S. Lewis, have described elements of Christianity the story of Christ, as "myth", "true". Others object to associating Christianity with "myth" for a variety of reasons: the association of the term "myth" with polytheism, the use of the term "myth" to indicate falsehood or non-historicity, the lack of an agreed-upon definition of "myth"; as examples of Biblical myths, Every cites the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 and the story of Eve's temptation.
Many Christians believe parts of the Bible to be metaphorical. Christian tradition contains many stories that do not come from canonical Christian texts yet still illustrate Christian themes; these non-canonical Christian myths include legends and elaborations on canonical Christian mythology. Christian tradition has produced a rich body of legends that were never incorporated into the official scriptures. Legends were a staple of medieval literature. Examples include hagiographies such as the stories of Saint Valentine. A case in point is the historical and canonized Brendan of Clonfort, a 6th-century Irish churchman and founder of abbeys. Round his authentic figure was woven a tissue, arguably legendary rather than historical: the Navigatio or "Journey of Brendan"; the legend discusses mythic events in the sense of supernatural encounters. In this narrative and his shipmates encounter sea monsters, a paradisal island and a floating ice islands and a rock island inhabited by a holy hermit: literal-minded devotés still seek to identify "Brendan's is