Superstitions of Middle Ages

November 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Superstition is a noun that is defined as:

1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.

2. a system or collection of such beliefs.

3. a custom or act based on such a belief.

4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.

5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

As it is explained above there isn’t really a logical explanation for the existence of superstitions. However they always continue their existence because there are always situations that are difficult to explain rationally and it is easier to believe they are related to a certain mystical cause that we can’t control. On the other hand their existence is also related to the religion because in fact I think that religion is the most believed superstition. By saying this I mean to say that even though it is based on some kind of supernatural power that we can’t see, most people do not even question its existence. It is actually a comforting way that makes people feel as if they have less responsibility than they usually do. It is always easier to make yourself believe that you have control over incidents until some point. Therefore it is also easier to control people by using superstitions because people don’t usually want to risk facing the negative results that “may” happen if they don’t believe superstitions. Dark ages were the period when these superstitions were an important part of people’s everyday lives.

There are many examples of these superstitions:

In the Dark Ages, a cat was mortared, while still alive, into the foundation of a building to ensure good luck to the inhabitants. People also believed in spirits and fairies, they thought that fairies lead them when it was very dark in forests at night. It was also said that a person was mislead by fairies if that person died a night in a forest. People also believed in werewolves and it was believed that these creatures ha internal hair. Therefore many of the people were cut open in order to see if they were werewolves or not. Another superstition was the most known one. People believed in witches and actually these witches were people who had the ability to cure others by using herbs. Some of them were sick people who had visions because of their mental sicknesses. As the werewolves their existence was not proven.


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