What was the common understanding of electric shocks caused by static electricity in the ancient world and middle ages? I'm talking about the shock when you touch something on a dry day for example.

Note that I'm not asking about the scientific understanding (which is detailed in the Wikipedia page). This is why I'm asking this here, and not in the history of science SE site.

I'm more interested in what would the average person think when they got the shock by touching something. Would they think God was angry (as was common with negative physical experiences before science)? Are there any references to this phenomenon by religious (monotheistic or pagan) texts?

Would they understand this is similar to a tiny lightning (on a dark night you can see the air arcing when this happens)?

The Wikipedia page mentions the ancient Egyptians were aware of electric eel and fish, and thus were given "supernatural" powers. Did people understand that a static electricity shock was a similar thing, even if it's not coming from an animal?

  • Attributing it to a God being angry would be dependant on their culture : some may, some may not... – Solar Mike Oct 14 '18 at 6:47

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