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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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a sect which appeared on the Rhine and in the Netherlands about 1374. They paraded the streets, entered houses and churches half naked, crowned with garlands, dancing and singing, uttering unknown names, falling senseless on the ground, and exhibiting other marks of demoniacal agitation. It was customary for persons of both sexes, in their public worship, to begin dancing; and, holding each other's hands, to continue their extraordinary violence till they fell down on the ground breathless. They affirmed that during these intervals of vehement agitation they were favored with wonderful visions. They evinced open contempt for the authority, rites, and doctrines of the Roman Church, and were considered as possessed with devils. The same phenomena appeared at Strasburg in 1418. Mosheim, Ch. Hist. 2:416; Gieseler, Ch. History, § 121.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Dancers'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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