The existence of covens. References in literature to covens of witches date back to the 12th century. In Polycraticus, John of Salisbury describes organized groups of witches carrying on at wild sABBATs but adds the caveat that they are merely deceptions created by the DEVIL and are not to be believed. A story popular in the late Middle Ages concerns an episode in the life of St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre (390-448), in which he encounters villagers preparing a dinner for "the good women who walked about
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