Author: Brian P. Levack
Between 1450 and 1750 thousands of people – most of them women – were accused, prosecuted and executed for the crime of witchcraft. The witch-hunt was not a single event; it comprised thousands of individual prosecutions, each shaped by the religious and social dimensions of the particular area as well as political and legal factors. Brian Levack sorts through the proliferation of theories to provide a coherent introduction to the subject, as well as contributing to the scholarly debate. The book: Examines why witchcraft prosecutions took place, how many trials and victims there were, and why witch-hunting eventually came to an end. Explores the beliefs of both educated and illiterate people regarding witchcraft. Uses regional and local studies to give a more detailed analysis of the chronological and geographical distribution of witch-trials. Emphasises the legal context of witchcraft prosecutions. Illuminates the social, economic and political history of early modern Europe, and in particular the position of women within it. In this fully updated third edition of his exceptional study, Levack incorporates the vast amount of literature that has emerged since the last edition. He substantially extends his consideration of the decline of the witch-hunt and goes further in his exploration of witch-hunting after the trials, especially in contemporary Africa. New illustrations vividly depict beliefs about witchcraft in early modern Europe.
Author: Brian P. Levack
Publisher: Oxford University Press
A collection of essays from leading scholars in the field that collectively study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas.
Author: William E. Burns
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Covering witch hunts from Germany to New England, this concise encyclopedia is a fascinating reference on the hunt to find and persecute those who practiced witchcraft.
Studies in Culture and Belief
Author: Jonathan Barry,Marianne Hester,Gareth Roberts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
An up-to-date account of the present state of scholarship on early modern European witchcraft.
Author: Gary K. Waite
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
In the fifteenth century many authorities did not believe Inquisitors' stories of a supposed Satanic witch sect. However, the religious conflict of the sixteenth-century Reformation - especially popular movements of reform and revolt - helped to create an atmosphere in which diabolical conspiracies (which swept up religious dissidents, Jews and magicians into their nets) were believed to pose a very real threat. Fear of the Devil and his followers inspired horrific incidents of judicially-approved terror in early modern Europe, leading after 1560 to the infamous witch hunts. Bringing together the fields of Reformation and witchcraft studies, this fascinating book reveals how the early modern period's religious conflicts led to widespread confusion and uncertainty. Gary K. Waite examines in-depth how church leaders dispelled rising religious doubt by persecuting heretics, and how alleged infernal plots, and witches who confessed to making a pact with the Devil, helped the authorities to reaffirm orthodoxy. Waite argues that it was only when the authorities came to terms with pluralism that there was a corresponding decline in witch panics.
Author: Julian Goodare
The European Witch-Hunt seeks to explain why thousands of people, mostly lower-class women, were deliberately tortured and killed in the name of religion and morality during three centuries of intermittent witch-hunting throughout Europe and North America. Combining perspectives from history, sociology, psychology and other disciplines, this book provides a comprehensive account of witch-hunting in early modern Europe. Julian Goodare sets out an original interpretation of witch-hunting as an episode of ideologically-driven persecution by the ‘godly state’ in the era of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Full weight is also given to the context of village social relationships, and there is a detailed analysis of gender issues. Witch-hunting was a legal operation, and the courts’ rationale for interrogation under torture is explained. Panicking local elites, rather than central governments, were at the forefront of witch-hunting. Further chapters explore folk beliefs about legendary witches, and intellectuals’ beliefs about a secret conspiracy of witches in league with the Devil. Witch-hunting eventually declined when the ideological pressure to combat the Devil’s allies slackened. A final chapter sets witch-hunting in the context of other episodes of modern persecution. This book is the ideal resource for students exploring the history of witch-hunting. Its level of detail and use of social theory also make it important for scholars and researchers.
Author: Lara Apps,Andrew Gow
Publisher: Manchester University Press
This book critiques historians’ assumptions about witch-hunting as well as their explanations for this complex and perplexing phenomenon. It shows that large numbers of men were accused of witchcraft in their own right, in some regions, more men were accused than women. The authors insist on the centrality of gender, tradition, and ideas about witches in the construction of the witch as a dangerous figure. They challenge the marginalization of male witches by feminist and other historians.
Author: Julian Goodare
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Covering the whole period of the Scottish witch-hunt, from the mid-16th century to the early 18th, this book is a collection of essays on Scottish witchcraft and witch-hunting. It provides a comparative dimension of witch-hunting beyond Scotland.
Author: Brian P. Levack
The Witchcraft Sourcebook, now in its second edition, is a fascinating collection of documents that illustrates the development of ideas about witchcraft from ancient times to the eighteenth century. Many of the sources come from the period between 1400 and 1750, when more than 100,000 people - most of them women - were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe and colonial America. During these years the prominent stereotype of the witch as an evil magician and servant of Satan emerged. Catholics and Protestants alike feared that the Devil and his human confederates were destroying Christian society. Including trial records, demonological treatises and sermons, literary texts, narratives of demonic possession, and artistic depiction of witches, the documents reveal how contemporaries from various periods have perceived alleged witches and their activities. Brian P. Levack shows how notions of witchcraft have changed over time and considers the connection between gender and witchcraft and the nature of the witch's perceived power. This second edition includes an extended section on the witch trials in England, Scotland and New England, fully revised and updated introductions to the sources to include the latest scholarship and a short bibliography at the end of each introduction to guide students in their further reading. The Sourcebook provides students of the history of witchcraft with a broad range of sources, many of which have been translated into English for the first time, with commentary and background by one of the leading scholars in the field.
Author: Brian P. Levack
The fourth edition of The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe,written by one of the leading names in the field, is the ideal resource for both students and scholars of the witch-hunts.For those starting out in their studies of witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials, Brian Levack provides a concise survey of this complex and fascinating topic, while for more seasoned scholars the scholarship is brought right up to date. The Witchcraft Sourcebook, now in its second edition, is a fascinating collection of documents illustrating the development of ideas about witchcraft from ancient times to the eighteenth century along with commentary and background by Brian Levack. Including trial records, demonological treatises and sermons, literary texts, narratives of demonic possession and artistic depiction of witches, the documents show how notions of witchcraft have changed over time, and consider the connection between gender and witchcraft and the nature of the witch's perceived power. Available to purchase as a bundle, together these two books make the perfect collection for students and lecturers of witchcraft and witch-hunts in the early modern period.
A History of the Witch Persecutions in Europe and North America
Author: Robert Thurston
Tens of thousands of people were persecuted and put to death as witches between 1400 and 1700 – the great age of witch hunts. Why did the witch hunts arise, flourish and decline during this period? What purpose did the persecutions serve? Who was accused, and what was the role of magic in the hunts? This important reassessment of witch panics and persecutions in Europeand colonial America both challenges and enhances existing interpretations of the phenomenon. Locating its origins 400 years earlier in the growing perception of threats to Western Christendom, Robert Thurston outlines the development of a ‘persecuting society’ in which campaigns against scapegoats such as heretics, Jews, lepers and homosexuals set the scene for the later witch hunts. He examines the creation of the witch stereotype and looks at how the early trials and hunts evolved, with the shift from accusatory to inquisitorial court procedures and reliance upon confessions leading to the increasing use of torture.
Author: Merry E. Wiesner
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin College Division
New to the Problems in European Civilization series, this volume offers secondary-source essays organized around the major controversies and interpretations of the history of witchcraft. In four parts, the text examines the major areas of recent scholarship: intellectual foundations and demonology (Part I); the political, social, and economic contexts of early modern Europe (Part II); accusations, trials, and panics (Part III); and gender and witchcraft (Part IV). The text's pedagogy—a hallmark of the Problems in European Civilization series—includes chapter and essay introductions, timelines, illustrations, maps, and suggested readings. This volume is suitable for courses in Western Civilization, as well as courses focused exclusively on witchcraft or European women's history. The selections included in this volume represent the latest in research on witchcraft and witch hunts; many of them explicitly test the ideas that were developed in the 1970s, when academic research on witchcraft saw its first high point. Several sources focus on areas where witch hunting was most intense, such as eastern France and the Holy Roman Empire, while others cover areas in which few hunts took place, such as Norway and Italy. The text incorporates recent studies that have been particularly influential in the field, including works by Stuart Clark, Robin Briggs, and Wolfgang Behringer. Contributions by scholars from the United States, England, Hungary, and Australia demonstrate that witchcraft research is truly an international enterprise.
law, politics and religion
Author: Brian P. Levack
Witch-Hunting in Scotland presents a fresh perspective on the trial and execution of the hundreds of women and men prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft, an offence that involved the alleged practice of maleficent magic and the worship of the devil, for inflicting harm on their neighbours and making pacts with the devil. Brian P. Levack draws on law, politics and religion to explain the intensity of Scottish witch-hunting. Topics discussed include: the distinctive features of the Scottish criminal justice system the use of torture to extract confessions the intersection of witch-hunting with local and national politics the relationship between state-building and witch-hunting and the role of James VI Scottish Calvinism and the determination of zealous Scottish clergy and magistrates to achieve a godly society. This original survey combines broad interpretations of the rise andfall of Scottish witchcraft prosecutions with detailed case studies of specific witch-hunts. Witch-Hunting in Scotland makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in witchcraft or in the political, legal and religious history of the early modern period.
Author: Anne Sophie Günzel
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject History Europe - Other Countries - Middle Ages, Early Modern Age, grade: English Grade:58% von 70%, University of Nottingham (School of History), course: Hauptseminar: Gender and Society in Early Modern Europe, language: English, abstract: 'Witch- hunting is seen as something pathological, a disease infecting like a plague the body of the communities in witch it raged.'1 With these words the historian Bob Scribner described witchcraft and witch-hunts. They are defined as something negative and pathological and it is obviously that witchcraft could easily emerged because of the traditional beliefs rooted in the early modern society of Germany. Witchcraft and witchhunts emerged in this period and made the population susceptible to the carrying out of denunciation and elimination of innocent people. The population had been easily influenced by the authorities like magistrates and their fellow citizens. In the following discussion/passage, witchcraft and witch-hunts concerning the early modern Europe will be less prominent rather than the study about witchcraft and witchhunts in early modern Germany. In particular the main focus will stress on the south of Germany because it was the centre of witchcraft and witch-hunts. In addition to that some examples will be mentioned to show special witchcraft and witch- hunt cases. First it will be examined how the term 'witch' is defined shown in a historical, linguistic and an etymological way. Then the two authors of the Malleus maleficarum2 and their ideas about witches and witchcraft will be mentioned. In the forth chapter the social context shall be examined. In this passage the accused shall be represented and the reasons which led to their accusation. In the last chapter the witch-hunts in early modern Germany shall be represented. It keeps the question in what way the witch-hunts increased during the early modern period and which reasons contributed to their decline. Furthe
Author: A. Rowlands
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Men – as accused witches, witch-hunters, werewolves and the demonically possessed – are the focus of analysis in this collection of essays by leading scholars of early modern European witchcraft. The gendering of witch persecution and witchcraft belief is explored through original case-studies from England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and France.
A Global History
Author: Wolfgang Behringer
In this major new book, Wolfgang Behringer surveys the phenomenon of witchcraft past and present. Drawing on the latest historical and anthropological findings, Behringer sheds new light on the history of European witchcraft, while demonstrating that witch-hunts are not simply part of the European past. Although witch-hunts have long since been outlawed in Europe, other societies have struggled with the idea that witchcraft does not exist. As Behringer shows, witch-hunts continue to pose a major problem in Africa and among tribal people in America, Asia and Australia. The belief that certain people are able to cause harm by supernatural powers endures throughout the world today. Wolfgang Behringer explores the idea of witchcraft as an anthropological phenomenon with a historical dimension, aiming to outline and to understand the meaning of large-scale witchcraft persecutions in early modern Europe and in present-day Africa. He deals systematically with the belief in witchcraft and the persecution of witches, as well as with the process of outlawing witch-hunts. He examines the impact of anti-witch-hunt legislation in Europe, and discusses the problems caused in societies where European law was imposed in colonial times. In conclusion, the relationship between witches old and new is assessed. This book will make essential reading for all those interested in the history and anthropology of witchcraft and magic.
Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany
Author: Lyndal Roper
Publisher: Yale University Press
From the gruesome ogress in Hansel and Gretel to the hags at the sabbath in Faust, the witch has been a powerful figure of the Western imagination. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries thousands of women confessed to being witches--of making pacts with the Devil, causing babies to sicken, and killing animals and crops--and were put to death. This book is a gripping account of the pursuit, interrogation, torture, and burning of witches during this period and beyond. Drawing on hundreds of original trial transcripts and other rare sources in four areas of Southern Germany, where most of the witches were executed, Lyndal Roper paints a vivid picture of their lives, families, and tribulations. She also explores the psychology of witch-hunting, explaining why it was mostly older women that were the victims of witch crazes, why they confessed to crimes, and how the depiction of witches in art and literature has influenced the characterization of elderly women in our own culture.
Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition Through the Salem Trials
Author: Brian Alexander Pavlac
This comprehensive resource explores the evolution of western attitudes towards religion, politics, and the supernatural, which intersected to spawn the notorious witch hunts in Europe and the New World.
A Comparative Study of Witch Hunts in Swabian Austria and the Electorate of Trier
Author: Johannes Dillinger
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Inspired by recent efforts to understand the dynamics of the early modern witch hunt, Johannes Dillinger has produced a powerful synthesis based on careful comparisons. Narrowing his focus to two specific regions—Swabian Austria and the Electorate of Trier—he provides a nuanced explanation of how the tensions between state power and communalism determined the course of witch hunts that claimed over 1,300 lives in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Germany. Dillinger finds that, far from representing the centralizing aggression of emerging early states against local cultures, witch hunts were almost always driven by members of the middling and lower classes in cities and villages, and they were stopped only when early modern states acquired the power to control their localities. Situating his study in the context of a pervasive magical worldview that embraced both orthodox Christianity and folk belief, Dillinger shows that, in some cases, witch trials themselves were used as magical instruments, designed to avert threats of impending divine wrath. "Evil People" describes a two-century evolution in which witch hunters who liberally bestowed the label "evil people" on others turned into modern images of evil themselves. In the original German, "Evil People" won the Friedrich Spee Award as an outstanding contribution to the history of witchcraft.
Author: Peter Elmer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Witchcraft, Witch-hunting, and Politics in Early Modern England constitutes a wide-ranging and original overview of the place of witchcraft and witch-hunting in the broader culture of early modern England. Based on a mass of new evidence extracted from a range of archives, both local and national, it seeks to relate the rise and decline of belief in witchcraft, alongside the legal prosecution of witches, to the wider political culture of the period. Building on the seminal work of scholars such as Stuart Clark, Ian Bostridge, and Jonathan Barry, Peter Elmer demonstrates how learned discussion of witchcraft, as well as the trials of those suspected of the crime, were shaped by religious and political imperatives in the period from the passage of the witchcraft statute of 1563 to the repeal of the various laws on witchcraft. In the process, Elmer sheds new light upon various issues relating to the role of witchcraft in English society, including the problematic relationship between puritanism and witchcraft as well as the process of decline.