Johannes Nider ( – ) was a German theologian and member of the Dominican order. His work Formicarius, published around , is an important. Johannes Nider’s Formicarius was a demonological treatise written during the Council of Basel in Switzerland. Nider’s treatise detailed the. Formicarius. Front Cover ยท Johannes Nider. Formicarius: Dialogus ad vitam christianam exemplo conditionum Formice Johannes Nider Full view -.

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Probably the most famous one was written by French Inquisitor Bernard Gui around The Formicarius would have functioned as a kind of preacher’s manual, with stories tailor-made for use in sermons. Prior to the fifteenth century, magic was thought to be performed by educated males who performed intricate rituals. University of Pennsylvania Press, Nider dealt specifically with witchcraft in the fifth section of the book.

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In this book of the Formicarius, Nider makes mention of the practice of witchcraft, dealings between witches and demons, gatherings of witches, and the formicqrius of magic with women 3. This particular copy of the Formicarius is located on the website of Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Bavarian State Library.


Most of johhannes accounts are representative of the late medieval religious atmosphere of what is now Switzerlandsouthern GermanyAustriaand the southern Rhineland. The Formicariuswritten by Johannes Nider during the Council of Basel and first printed inis the second book ever printed to discuss witchcraft the first book being Fortalitium Fidei [1].

The treatise is organized the various forms and conditions of the lives of ants. Unlike his successors, he did not emphasize the idea of the Witches’ Sabbath and was skeptical of the claim that witches could fly by night. This region is also where the book was most widely read. This article related to a book about religion is a stub.


The Formicarius was written between andwhile Nider was part of the theological faculty at the University of Vienna. The second book, dealing with revelations, was based on ants’ varied means of locomotion. Nider used the ant colony as a metaphor for a harmonious society. Search Search using this query type: After the theologian would present these, the student asks clarifying questions that Nider used to dispel what he saw as common misconceptions. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

Medieval European History | Formicarius

The Formicarius consists of a number of books addressing various topics, including “good forimcarius and revelations,” “falsities and wicked acts,” and “the deeds of virtuous people.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Witchcraft in Europe, The fifth book, on witches, johanmes structured around the colors of ants. With over 25 manuscript copies from fifteenth and early sixteenth century editions from the s tothe Formicarius is an important work for the study of the origins of the witch trials in Early Modern Europeas it sheds light on their earliest phase during the first half of the 15th century.

Johannes Nider. Formicarius (The Ant Hill). Second edition, ca. 1484.

The first book focuses on the deeds of good men and women and is organized around the occupations of ants. According to Bailey, Nider was much more focused on reform in general, which was opposed by demons, who worked their opposition through subservient witches. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The idea that any persons could perform acts of magic simply by devoting themselves to the devil scared people of this time and proved to be one of the many factors that led people to begin fearing magic [ citation needed ].


The idea that the magician was primarily female was also shocking to some. This association between women and witchcraft would come to characterize much of the witchcraft hysteria of early modern Europe. Many of the stories relating to witchcraft take place in the Simme Valley and were told to Nider by Peter of Bernwho had conducted many witch trials in the region.

This page inder last edited on 18 Decemberat The Formicarius uses a teacher-pupil dialogue dormicarius its format. Nider, a Dominican reformer himself, intended the book to reach as wide an audience as possible through its use in popular sermons.

Martha Brossier Labourd witch-hunt of Aix-en-Provence possessions Loudun possessions Louviers possessions Affair of the Poisons In Nider’s Formicariusthe witch is described as uneducated and more commonly female. The third book examines false visions and uses the variable sizes and kinds of ants.

This complex system of using ants as metaphors for various aspects of Christian belief and practice is only really addressed in the first few lines of each chapter, after which Nider focuses on whatever theme he means to address with almost no further reference to ants.