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The Destruction of Tyre, by John Martin, 1840. © Toledo Museum of Art, purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, gift of Edward Drummond Libbey.
Volume X, Number 3 | summer 2017
During the Middle Ages, wild animals were often believed to be devil-possessed. Wolves, moles, and caterpillars were tried in courts and executed. A story is told of Saint Dominic catching a sparrow, plucking it alive, and rejoicing in his triumph over the powers of darkness. By 1531 a legist argued that “rural pests would simply laugh” at civil-court censure but “have greater fear” of the Church’s power of anathema and should be excommunicated.
Who lives in fear will never be a free man.—Horace, 19 BC
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