Talk:Mandragora (demon)

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Is this a copyright violation?[edit]

Note: unsigned and undated comments below appear to have been posted by User:81.130.82.52 and User:Texture at various times around 17 Feb 2004.

The SOURCE is Lewis Spence and was published in the 1920 edition of The Encyclopaedia of Occultism. Spence died in 1955! Copyright free under US law?

Certainly NOT!! copyright of http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/mandrake.htm

On checking the article posted is NOT at http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/mandrake.htm

The web site posted is a match for your article.

Analysis of the two articles: (Begins half way through the sixteenth paragraph on the website)

Mandragoras: "Familiar demons who appear in the figures of little men without beards. "

web site: "familiar demons who appear in the figures of little men without beards"

Mandragoras: "Delrio states that one day a mandragora (mandrake), entering at the request of a sorcerer, who was being tried before a court for wizardry, was caught by the arms by the judge, who did not believe in the existence of the spirit, to convince himself of its existence, and thrown into the fire, where of course it would escape un-harmed."

web site: "Delrio wrote of an instance. He states that one day a mandragora, entering at the request of a sorcerer, who was being tried before a court for wizardry, was caught by the arms by the judge, who did not believe in the existence of the spirit, to convince himself of its existence, and thrown into the fire, where it escaped unharmed."

Mandragoras: "Mandragoras are thought to be little dolls or figures given to sorcerers by the Devil for the purpose of being consulted by them in time of need ; and it would seem as if this conception had sprung directly from that of the fetish, which is nothing else than a dwelling-place made by a shaman or medicine-man for the reception of any wandering spirit who chooses to take up his abode therein."

web site: "Mandragoras were also thought to be little dolls or figures given to sorcerers by the Devil for the purpose of being consulted by them in time of need; and it would seem as though this conception sprang directly from that of the fetish, nothing else than a dwelling-place made by a shaman or medicine-man for the reception of any wandering spirit therein."

Mandragoras: "The author of the work entitled Petit Albert says that on one occasion, whilst travelling in Flanders and passing through the town of Lille, he was invited by one of his friends to accompany him to the house of an old woman who posed as being a great prophetess" EXACT MATCH

web site: "The author of the work entitled Petit Albert says that on one occasion, whilst travelling in Flanders and passing through the town of Lille, he was invited by one of his friends to accompany him to the house of an old woman who posed as being a great prophetess." EXACT MATCH

Mandragoras: "This aged person conducted the two friends into a dark cabinet lit only by a single lamp, where they could see upon a table covered with a cloth a kind of little statue or mandragora, seated upon a tripod and having the left hand extended and holding a hank of silk very delicately fashioned, from which was suspended a small piece of iron highly polished." EXACT MATCH

web site: "This aged person conducted the two friends into a dark cabinet lit only by a single lamp, where they could see upon a table covered with a cloth a kind of little statue or mandragora, seated upon a tripod and having the left hand extended and holding a hank of silk very delicately fashioned, from which was suspended a small piece of iron highly polished." EXACT MATCH

Mandragoras: "Placing under this a crystal glass so that the piece of iron was suspended inside the goblet, the old woman commanded the figure to strike the iron against the glass in such a manner as she wished, saying at the same time to the figure : I command you, Mandragora, in the name of those to whom you are bound to give obedience, to know if the gentleman present will be happy in the journey which lie is about to make. If so, strike three times with the iron upon the goblet." EXACT MATCH - punctuation changed

web site: "Placing under this a crystal glass so that the piece of iron was suspended inside the goblet, the old woman commanded the figure to strike the iron against the glass in such a manner as she wished, saying at the same time to the figure: “I command you Mandragora in the name of those to whom you are bound to give obedience, to know if the gentleman present will be happy in the journey which he is about to make. If so, strike three times with the iron upon the goblet”." EXACT MATCH - punctuation changed

Mandragoras: "The iron struck three times as demanded without the old woman having touched any of the apparatus, much to the surprise of the two spectators. The sorceress put several other questions to the Mandragora, who struck the glass once or thrice as seemed good to him." EXACT MATCH

web site: "The iron struck three times as demanded without the old woman having touched any of the apparatus, much to the surprise of the two spectators. The sorceress put several other questions to the Mandragora, who struck the glass once or thrice as seemed good to him." EXACT MATCH

The last two sentences I did not find but the majority are word-for-word and in the same sentence order as the web site. In some sentences you moved around a word or two but left it largely verbatum.

This is a copyright violation - Texture 15:31, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Texture re-read the post . . . the author is Lewis Spence . . . article published in 1920 . . . copyright free . . . publication by http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/mandrake.htm does not give that site copyright!

You are blinded by details . . . the article posted is the source of the whitedragon article!!

If you are going to edit a post do it with a degree of skill


If you want a task . . . try to prove that the Lewis Spence is not Public Domain . . .

Instead of just deleting it make your case as a scholar as to why Spence is not the author instead of blindly crediting a web site guilty of plagiarism as the source . . .

Original source identified[edit]

Give a detailed, verifiable, reference to the original source, then, please, and we can settle this. I presume you are stating that this is from Spence's An Encyclopaedia of Occultism, which does appear to be in the public domain? -- The Anome 14:31, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

There's no reason why we shouldn't use Spence's public domain Encyclopaedia of Occultism as a source for numerous articles. -- The Anome 14:36, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Hmmmmmmmmm! The voice of sanity . . .

What more do you like . . . as peviously stated the Author is Lewis Spence and the article is in "An Encyclopaedia of Occultism" . . . the book was published in 1920. All verifiable.

If it helps the article is on page 266 and spans columns 1 & 2, the Publisher was George Routledge and Sons . . . .


What's the title of the article? Most people will only be able to lay their hands on the Dover Books edition, ISBN 0486426130. -- The Anome 14:47, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)


The article is called "Mandragoras"! There is no ISBN on the first edition.


Do you have a procedure for dealing with 'disputes' where people keep removing legitimate articles without good cause?

And who gets to say the article stands . . . Anome? . . . and by what authority . . . not being funny, just asking. i.e. why would you say yes and Texture say no? etc?

Anyone can remove a prima facie copyright violation. However, since you seem to have cited a public domain text as the entire source, I'd be inclined to let is stay unless there's evidence that the cited source doesn't exist... Evercat 15:19, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Anyway, I should be able to verify this tomorrow - the library for which I work seems to have a copy. Evercat 15:20, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Evercat. Spence's book sounds like a useful source on occultism -- can you assess it for general quality/sanity/scholarly quality whilst you are looking up the reference? -- The Anome 15:30, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well, it's in our reference section so I can't take it out. But I'll try to have a brief look and see what the rest of it is like. Evercat 15:37, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
OK, I've verified that the text does indeed come from the 1920 Encyclopedia of the Occult. Is that sufficient to make it public domain?
As for the encyclopedia's quality, after only a brief look, I think it's quite good. Spence says in the preface that he's taking a less scientific, more romantic approach to the subject, so it's not filled with debunking or anything like that. On the bad side, on occasions it seems hard to know what his sources are. Evercat 23:25, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)