Print

Print


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

The following - which is all I can find - is perhaps only tangentially an
answer to this question, but it may provide a lead for further
investigation:

In her "British folk customs", (Hutchinson, 1976) Christina Hole says:

Easter Hare Customs

"The hare was the sacred beast of Eastre (or Eostre) a Saxon goddess of
Spring and of the dawn ... a widespread European tradition makes it the
bringer of Easter Eggs .... In the U S of A the Easter Rabbit has taken the
place of the European hare ..."

She follows this with recounting many places when at Easter time the hare is
hunted and killed as a traditional activity. She says nothing about what is
done with the hare's blood, but it is clear that in some of these
traditional activities there would have been plenty of it about.

Additionally, IIRC, the multiple foetuses of the rabbit were known as
"Rabbits eggs" and could be eaten during Lent as they were not considered
meat .... (!)

CH also says that legend often confuses rabbits and hares, especially in a
territory where one rather than the other is a familiar sight.

 I also believe that the hare is the native British animal and that the
rabbit was introduced (by the Romans ? by the Normans ?) as a useful source
of winter meat.

(I always have loathed Easter Cards with bunnies on them - now I now why!!!)

Brenda M.C.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Colmán O' Clabaigh" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 11:38 AM
Subject: [M-R] Hunting hares in Holy Week


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Listmembers,

This is a long shot I know but anything is possible on this list!

Some years ago, when working on a thesis on the Franciscans in medieval
Ireland, I came across a reference to the alleged curative properties of the
blood of a hare killed in Holy Week. The context was a sermon by a
Franciscan condemning such superstition. A colleague is now preparing an
edition of the 14th century chronicle of Friar John Clyn of Kilkenny and
contacted me about a reference in the text to 'the time when hares are
hunted'. I immediately thought of the earlier hare reference but find that I
have misplaced it.

Does any of this ring a bell with anyone? Has anyone encountered similar
beliefs about the medicinal qualities of animals' blood? Why would the time
when hares are hunted be significant?

Many thanks

Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB
Librarian
Glenstal Abbey

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html