RE: Dance craze

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 01:39:31 BST

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: Dance craze
    Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 20:39:31 -0400
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    >From: Douglas Brooker <>
    >Subject: RE: Dance craze
    >Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 12:37:22 +0100
    > > 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)
    If I typed them correctly (highly unlikely) here are some links with regard
    to ergot mania. I'm a little skeptical about buying the view that rye fungus
    may be to blame for dance mania and/or the Salem witches, but it's an
    interesting speculation none-the-less.

    Using as an engine merely type something like "ergot and
    vitus and whatever" to view other URL's. There are probably alternatives to
    ergotism as an explanation.

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