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“For the Scrutiny of Science and the Light of Revelation”: American Blood Falls

“For the Scrutiny of Science and the Light of Revelation”: American Blood Falls essay .................... "For the Scrutiny of Science and the Light of Revelation" American Blood Falls by Tom Maxwell or millennia, showers of blood, known variously as blood falls, rains of blood, and blood rain, have been reported in sources both historical and literary. The earliest record comes from Homer's Iliad, in which Zeus makes it rain blood "as a portent of slaughter": "Then, touch'd with grief, the weeping Heavens distill'd / A shower of blood o'er all the fatal field." Pliny, Livy, and Plutarch mention actual rains of blood and flesh. Cicero recorded these events as well, but doubted their veracity. Cicero, an early proponent of the view that these rains had a natural explanation, was succeeded in the twelfth century by "the great grammarian and natural philosopher" William of Conches, who sought to explain blood falls as the result of the power of wind and the properties of condensed and heated rain.1 The phenomenon continued to be reported throughout Medieval and Renaissance England, France, Germany, Ireland, and Iceland. Contemporary chroniclers seldom recorded detailed descriptions, and the consensus was that they were omens of suffering or terrible transition. When claims of blood falls came to the New World http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

“For the Scrutiny of Science and the Light of Revelation”: American Blood Falls

Southern Cultures , Volume 18 (1) – Feb 5, 2012

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
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Abstract

essay .................... "For the Scrutiny of Science and the Light of Revelation" American Blood Falls by Tom Maxwell or millennia, showers of blood, known variously as blood falls, rains of blood, and blood rain, have been reported in sources both historical and literary. The earliest record comes from Homer's Iliad, in which Zeus makes it rain blood "as a portent of slaughter": "Then, touch'd with grief, the weeping Heavens distill'd / A shower of blood o'er all the fatal field." Pliny, Livy, and Plutarch mention actual rains of blood and flesh. Cicero recorded these events as well, but doubted their veracity. Cicero, an early proponent of the view that these rains had a natural explanation, was succeeded in the twelfth century by "the great grammarian and natural philosopher" William of Conches, who sought to explain blood falls as the result of the power of wind and the properties of condensed and heated rain.1 The phenomenon continued to be reported throughout Medieval and Renaissance England, France, Germany, Ireland, and Iceland. Contemporary chroniclers seldom recorded detailed descriptions, and the consensus was that they were omens of suffering or terrible transition. When claims of blood falls came to the New World

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 5, 2012

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