RE: Dance craze

From: Douglas Brooker (
Date: Wed May 02 2001 - 12:37:22 BST

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science"

    Received: by id MAA18825 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 2 May 2001 12:41:02 +0100
    Subject: RE: Dance craze
    Message-Id: <>
    From: Douglas Brooker <>
    Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 12:37:22 +0100
    Precedence: bulk

    > I may be wrong but I believe, dance crazes in Europe were closely
    > with outbreaks of the plague, and dance crazes were often the results
    of the
    > profound psychological impact of plagues on small commmunities.
    Exactly why
    > dance became the favoured outlet, I don't know. Maybe people thought

    > vigourous movement kept the plague at bay.

    Here's a link on an outbreak of St Vistus's Dance in 1418.

    > A similar occurrence that comes to me is the recent argument that
    > hunts were closely related to certain kinds of food poisoning (I
    forget the
    > damn condition now, I know it had to do with rye) that produced the
    > hallucinations, and violent spasms that people of the time
    interpreted as
    > bewitchment. They would then looked for someone unpopular in the
    > to declare a witch, and hang, burn etc.

    Ergotism, rye infected with the fungus "Claviceps purpurea" - there is
    a chemical relationship with lysergic acid.

    Alcohol is a likely candidate. Also events like witchhunts or
    revolutions can be used to settle old scores or as means of acquiring
    other's property (as in the american and other revolutions)



    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed May 02 2001 - 12:44:32 BST