[LMB] The Spirit Ring sources

Lois Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Thu Oct 7 01:56:51 BST 2021

So, some posts I've lost sight of upstream were debating how Renaissance 
folks actually thought about magic.

This contemporary quote (from /Europe 1492/ by Franco Cardini (1989)):

"I remember it was the fifth of April MCCCCLXXXXII," the Florentine 
chronicler Bartolomeo Masi recalled, "around the third hour of the 
night, when a darkness of weather came, water and wind, and six 
thunderbolts fell together; and they struck the lantern in the cupola of 
Santa Maria del Fiore [in Florence], which ruined many statues in the 
church and outside...  When this dark weather came, it was said that it 
was Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici who had let loose a spirit that he was 
said to have kept mounted in a ring, and it was at that point that this 
event happened.  And it was said that he had kept that spirit in that 
ring for many years; and because he was very sick at the time, he had 
freed it."

"Spirit" being an undefined term, here, although one is put in mind of 
Shakespeare's Prospero.

Ta, L.

(Wonderful book, btw, lavishly illustrated.)

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