As for centuries people feared the Devil

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Even in the XXI century many people feel the wiles of the devil, indulge in apocalyptic visions, fervently believe in the prophecies about the imminent end of the world, are faced with mysterious and unexplained phenomena. Almost every day one way or the other the Church comes another unfortunate to report «on the dark forces that viciously oppress».

Such a surge of nightmarish visions and fantasies is quite understandable. The fact of the meeting of the new Millennium shook many weak minds, undermining the mental health of people impressionable and unstable.

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

However, belief in evil and its indestructible power is as old as the world. This is one of those primal fears that haunted mankind since ancient times. How many people can remember, they always attributed the blame for natural disasters, disease, poverty, death, all sorts of demons, devils and other messengers of evil.

In Ancient Egypt were afraid of Seth — God-killer, who bore in himself the evil inclination.


Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

The Greeks considered the embodiment of evil forces Typhon is a terrible son of earth Gaia and Tartarus. His feet were replaced with rings of snakes. The torso was covered with feathers, and crowned with despicable body of a hundred dragon heads. Typhon spawned many monsters: the lernaean Hydra, the Chimera, Hellhound Cerberus and destroyer of wayfarers — of the Sphinx. Thousands of years people suffered from such things and thousands of years trying to defeat them.

If demons, devils, the devil come into the world, these enemies of the human race need to learn to cast. So there was an exorcism (from the Greek word exorkizen — to conjure) — what has that to do with evil spirits. Almost all world religions know how to call evil spirits or to drive them away.

People who can cast out the devil, to disenchant the poor devils, possessed by him, or dwelling in which it is possessed, is still honored today. No matter how complicated the culture, on its front line, according to many of the inhabitants, are the same figures: the devil and man, leading a relentless battle with each other.

In the Bible, the devil appears before the whole human race as soon as he was created. It was he who in the form of a serpent that «was more subtil than any beast of the field», convinced eve, and through her Adam to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The results of the tasting known to all: Adam and eve were expelled in disgrace from heaven. So, according to Christians, the world was brought by original sin.

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

Since for any believer no more hateful figure than the devil is the «instigator» and «earphone», «contradictory» and «preventing», «opponent in a court dispute and war,» «enemy of the human race». It is splitting people, hurting them and inciting them to do evil.

Tempted and seduced he, even Jesus Christ. One of the apostles — Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, was possessed by the devil, or (in Hebrew) Satan. «Then entered Satan into Judas»— as noted by one of the evangelists (LK. 22:3).

Medieval theologians Excel in the description of the devil and demons and machinations committed by them against weak human souls. Not by chance the first Christians trying to defend themselves against this dark scourge.

They see enemies everywhere. So, one of the apologists of Christianity, Tatian (born about 120-130 years) announces the devil’s instrument the whole of classical culture. Supporters of the faith assert that every man is from birth possessed by the devil and his minions. Therefore, before baptism it is necessary to clean the soul, and the body novokreshenova from the evil forces hitherto played them. The sacrament of baptism is the first Christian Ordinance was supposed to take clean. It was preceded by a long test.

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

When scheduled were those who should receive baptism, their life is carefully studied and biased. Elected to people daily, the Bishop laid his hand and uttered the spell of evil spirits. Just making sure people clean, he was admitted to baptism. On the eve of this significant event in the life of every Christian Bishop of the newly laid hands on people, ready to accept faith, and ordered every strange spirit to depart from them and never to return.

After a spell it blew in their faces, and baptized the forehead, ears, nostrils, and finally urged them to get up off his knees. All night people did not sleep a wink, waiting for the baptism and fear of bodily weakness again let the devils. So it was in the first centuries of Christianity, this religion became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Later, «prevention» was replaced by the brutal «surgery».

Well, when the believers were all indiscriminately, the devil and the demons gained access to the baptized, but a weak soul.

The first Christians knew as the devil and his ilk demons tempt human souls, but their form remains unknown to them. Yes it is, it seems, were not interested in them. The first image of the devil appeared only in the VI—XI centuries. However, even then they were very rare. Only in the XII century artists, encouraged by the Church, begin to draw the nightmare, causing the horror antics of the enemies of the human race.

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

In the next century appear paintings and miniatures, frescoes and sculptures, depicting a dragon with seven heads and ten horns, dark black figure with the head of a dog or bird of prey. And then the whole army (or should I say herd) of demons, jumping to violence with people.

Victorious gait «the worst enemy of the human race», followed by creeping demons come into literature. «Had this terrifying monster hands at least a thousand, and each hand — length of about one hundred cubits, and the thickness of ten»,— stated in the famous «Vision Nugdalla» (mid XII century).

«And I astonishment became mute when I saw three faces on it… has Grown under each of two large wings, like a bird, so great in the world.» So he sees the devil, Dante Alighieri (early XIII century): the unholy Trinity of persons, crowning a gigantic body, frozen in the ice.

Looking ahead, we say that the very realistic expression in the portraits of the devil and his servants the demons reached in the works of writers of the decadents of the late XIX— XX centuries.

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

That’s one of the fantasies left by D. Joyce: «wandering In the field some being: one, three, six. They roam aimlessly hither and thither. Oslobodenie creatures with human faces ghastly, horned, liquid borodinoj… Grin snide gloating dimly lit their old bony faces. One wrapped in a torn flannel waistcoat, another monotonously whines when his beard clinging to bunches of weeds. Muffled words off their parched lips.»

So, unfortunately, people have seen look like the messengers of evil, ready to confuse and torment them. Their images flashed, scaring and annoying bullshit. The people of the middle ages lived under the continuous supervision of the devils (but also the angels!), watching their every move, every gesture.

«Are there demons that lie in wait for people?» — asks Honorius Augustodunensis, a German theologian of the XII century, and he himself gives the answer: «Every sin and command demons, what with their ranks, the essence countless. They constantly bow their souls to corruption, and bring about their misdeeds to his Prince».

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

By the beginning of the XIII century, fear of the devil has gradually embraced the whole Christian world. The devil tempted and persecuted people, appearing to them in the form of young maidens or stately beauty, in its original form, fixed his in them his black eyes, moving his thick lips, canine teeth chattering, rocking goatee beard or hairy pointed ears.

Fear of this adversary, whoever he was shown sladostrastnye or ugly, was so great that people forgot about the love of neighbor and subjected himself like the most brutal executions, should suspect them in the least intercourse with the devil.

Across Europe begin to burn fires, which burn the «heretics», «witches», «sorcerers» — those who for the prodigal, earthly lucre enters into a contract with the evil spirit, taking the diabolical rite of baptism. They are easy to distinguish, because their body the devil imprints his mark — red or black birthmark, as hard as a pea.

The Renaissance seems to us a bright, Sunny at times, but now the witch hunt is reaching its climax. In the middle of the XIV century in Europe falls the plague. A terrible disease made death and destruction with unprecedented speed.

Entire cities turned into graveyards, villages emptied, the gifts of nature have died in vain, and the cattle, devoid of prizora, ran wild, running up to the surrounding mountains and forests. The priests could not accomplish the remission of sins, and the Requiem bell rang from early morning till late evening, until he stopped altogether, though he succumbs to illness. «God sent the black death as a punishment for our sins in order to cleanse the world of sinners, betrayed his soul to Satan»,— insisted the Church, explaining the disaster, suddenly destroyed a huge part of the European population.

At the end of the XV century, the belief in the invisible power of the devil over people turned into real hysteria. Approaching 1500, and round these figures were inspired by the idea of the imminent Apocalypse. Most people foresaw imminent end of the world and prepared for the fact that «all of us now will be rewarded for our sins.»

Millions of Catholics were preparing for the worst, when suddenly Pope innocent VIII had shewed them «the cause of all our troubles, is detrimental to the world.» Se — because all the evil from her. «Wives created for evil,— assured the Pontiff, who did not know them.— Satan seduces their men, in order to inspire them in the jaws of hell. Woman is the gate of the devil.»

To protect Christendom from such danger was the Inquisition, persecuting all dissenters from the faith. In her custody for several centuries and dealt harshly with heretics, and witches that cut a deal with the devil. A victory over these wicked ones were strong and brilliant.

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

Western Ukrainian writer Stepan Tudor cited as an example of such battles on the field of spirit and flesh the lists of people burned in the town of würzburg during the three years of the XVII century (in those years it has held 29 of the massacres).

«1-e burned, one had four faces: the wife of Libera old widow Anters, wife Gutbrot, the pregnant wife of Genera; 2-e burned, one had four faces: the old woman Baytler, quiesence old Schenker… 4th burning, five persons: the mayor’s wife Glaser, wife of Brinkman, one midwife, an old woman Rumi, foreigner… the 13th, the burning, four persons: an old blacksmith, the old woman, ten-year-old girl, her younger sister… 16th burning, six persons: the boy from Rozensteina, the other a boy of ten, two daughters burned recently the headman, his farmhand, wife of Seidler…»

Only in the late XVII century the priests, to cast out the devil, stopped along the way to burn the bodies of the victims that are sheltered by this invisible but terrible guest. Starts professional exorcists.

Numerous books have reported the miracles of these dauntless enemies of Satan. Asides some blinded in their learning of doctors that explained the strange behavior of people possessed by the devil, some kind of mental illness for a long time not taken seriously.

«It is the case in diseases, whatever they are called epilepsy, or melancholia»— rhetorically inquired of the priests,-«Everything is so clear that it is demons or najashi them the devil stirs up the minds of weak humans!»

Как люди веками боялись Дьявола

And yet, in the beginning of the XVIII century of panic and fear before the powers of hell gradually weakens. What were his reasons. The plague, for so long tormented Europeans, quieted down.

People have learned to take measures against the disease and the escaped «punishment of the Lord.» The end of the world, so long expected and many times porocity, came not. Errors frenzied diviners only repelled the belief in the utter predictions.

Medical advances, it would seem, finally forced the devil to conceal, losing the human body acts scientists doctors. For them all equally were patients suffering from mental illness: that people possessed by the devil that the mystics, in ecstasy uservalue God. So the exorcists turned to doctors: psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and psychoanalysts.

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