1096-1099: Internal Fires at Nivers

According to the author Marcellus Donatus in book six of his 1613 De Historia Medica Mirabili ("Medical History Wonders"), a very odd problem was plaguing a place called Nineruam.

        Donatus tells us that in a much earlier historic text -- Library 5 of Albert Krantz's Historia Saxonica ("Saxon History," published 1520) -- Krantz tells that during the time of Godfrey of Bologne's "Christian War" (which would be likely between 1096 and 1099 CE), people in Nineruam were burning with an invisible fire in their bodies, and that some of these people cut off a foot or a hand where the burning apparently began to prevent it from spreading further.

Fidley Little Details...

        "Godfrey of Bologne" likely refers to Godfrey of Bouillon [c. 1060–1100], who was son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne. Godfrey was one of the leaders of the First Crusade to free Jerusalem from 1096, and ruled Jerusalem from 1099 until his death... so the reference to his "Christian War" likely narrows our time frame down to between 1096 and 1099 for the report of the above, assuming it’s true.

        This same story was mentioned in the first study of the phenomena of 'Spontaneous Human Combustion,' written in 1731 by Rev. Giuseppe Bianchini. Bianchini got the story from Donatus' book, but named the place involved as either "Niverva" or "Nivers," not "Nineruam." In all cases, I haven't been able to find a place by that name... but if it was during Godfrey's crusade, it was likely somewhere near Jerusalem, Israel.

        Assuming, of course, that the really, really old book that I haven't seen says what Donatus says it says... and since we don't know, for now I'm marking this account as 'Unreliable' as proof of the paranormal. I'll keep an eye out for copies and translations of Krantz's book.