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Google Translate- Italian to English: http://translate.google.com/#it|en|What made this place popular is the existence of a walnut tree, near the city, around which legends have developed already in ancient times, that this tree would be the archetype of the sacred place to the Sabbath.
One of the bibliographic reference for the reconstruction of the myth of the walnut, is the book "The history of the walnut tree of Benevento superstitious" written in 1640 by Peter Piperno.
But before explaining why the superstition, it is necessary to take a step back. The demonic aura created around the nut is large and rich interpretations of issues. What we know for sure is that this tradition can be regarded as the persistence of a highly syncretistic pagan worship. We know how with the rise in religious-mystical power of Christianity, many pagan cults, which were rooted in ancient pre-Christian religions, were swept away with the accusation of being cults "demonic. " With this simplistic solution, hoping to eliminate Christianity reminiscent of other religions that could mark a shadow on the stability of its power. This will, which could not ptretendere to eliminate at a stroke, centuries and centuries of tradition, meant that Christianity itself absorb within its liturgical and sacred plant, various aspects of worship of religions supplanted.
During the occupation by the Lombards in Italy, the duchy of Benevento was surrounded by the siege of the Byzantine army of Constans (667). In that same period, a priest named Barbato, publicly accused the citizens of superstition and worship of a brazen serpent hanging from the branches of a walnut tree about two miles from the city. The Duke Romualdo, meanwhile, vowed to eradicate this tradition, God had helped him to defeat the enemy army. So it was, the Byzantine army was defeated by constant (either with the help of God, either by the intervention of the king and his armies Gromualdo Lombard). But loose the vow made to God and Barbato now become a bishop, the duke Romualdo continued to worship a statue of a snake-shaped bronze, in secret.
The fascinating aspect of the history of the walnut is related to its merger into one of two distinct and separate religions. On the one hand we have the snake, which we know is dear to Isis and then tied to a cult of Mediterranean origin pre-Lombard. In support of this view, near the convent of the Augustinian Fathers of Benevento were found remains of a temple dedicated to Isis. It seems that even the Cathedral of Benevento has been built on the ruins of a temple dedicated to the same cult. In contrast to this ancient religion, there is the image of the sacred, of Germanic origin. The appearance of the sacred trees is also present in the Nordic religions, especially Celtic and Viking. From ancient sources, we also know that the Lombards were used to hang a giant walnut of Coria or sheepskins.The warriors who ride on a horse, turning his back, managed to snatch a piece of leather, could earn the favor of the gods. These two cults, then, have fused together creating a new one. But there's more: the demonization of this luogoe meetings that took place, implemented by Christianity, was followed dall'enfatizzazione of the popular press. Piperno's book says: "... in this place then, there have been many, many wickedness, being, as nest of sorcerers and witches, who are wont to gather there, and (...) not only gather in this place superstitious no time for witches, but the most famous of the world to live in this neighborhood retreat ... "
The first evidence on the walnut tree of Benevento horde carried back to the fourteenth century. It is said that witches in flight arrived here from distant places often making these words:
Get the walnut de Benevento
et above water above the wind
et Omne above bad weather
There are also many examples of verbal processes against witches and apparently also a sermon of St. Bernardino of Siena.
Finally, the conclusion about the cult of the walnut tree of Benevento can reasonably be connected to a cult-style sacral objects placed on the shaft is believed placed under a sacred aura and sometimes could act as ex-voto. It is a symbolic tradition that has its origins in the greek-roman era, but also the Etruscans and the Egyptians made use, and has maintained its strength through the folklore and also coming to Christianity. The statues of the Madonna are indeed the final processing of the image that women are charged receiving gifts implements its protective process and specifically we can certainly admit that the patriarchal Christian worship could not abandon the feminine aspect and the cult of Isis was thus changed and was continued in the cult of the Madonna. (Continued)
The Walnut Tree of Benevento
The witch of Benevento