For centuries the witch has been a powerful figure in the European imagination; but the creation of this figure has been hidden from our view. Charles Zika’s groundbreaking study investigates how the visual image of the witch was created in late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe. He charts the development of the witch as a new visual subject, showing how the traditional imagery of magic and sorcery of medieval Europe was transformed into the sensationalist depictions of witches in the pamphlets and prints of the sixteenth century.
This book shows how artists and printers across the period developed key visual codes for witchcraft, such as the cauldron and the riding of animals. It demonstrates how influential these were in creating a new iconography for representing witchcraft incorporating themes such as the power of female sexuality, male fantasy, moral reform, divine providence and punishment, the superstitions of non-Christian peoples and the cannibalism of the new world.
Lavishly illustrated and encompassing in its approach, The Appearance of Witchcraft is the first systematic study of the visual representation of witchcraft in the later fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It will give the reader a unique insight into how the image of the witch evolved in the early modern world.
Contrary to some previous approaches, the authors argue that magic is inextricably connected to other areas of cultural practice and was found across medieval society. Therefore, the book is arranged thematically, covering topics such as the use of magic at medieval courts, at universities and within the medieval Church itself.
Each chapter and theme is supported by additional documents, diagrams and images to allow readers to examine the evidence side-by-side with the discussions in the chapters and to come to informed conclusions on the issues.
This book puts forward the argument that the witch craze was not a medieval phenomenon but rather the product of the Renaissance and the Reformation, and demonstrates how the components for the early-modern prosecution of witches were put into place.
This new Seminar Study is supported by a comprehensive documents section, chronology, who’s who and black-and-white plate section. It offers a concise and thought-provoking introduction for students of medieval history.
In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, The Terror of History takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. "Religion and the World to Come" examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. "The World of Matter and the Senses" considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, "The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge" looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship.
Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, The Terror of History is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history.
Driven by his priestly charge of enacting Christian charity, or love, Spee sought to expose the flawed arguments and methods used by the witch-hunters. His logic is relentless as he reveals the contradictions inherent in their arguments, showing there is no way for an innocent person to prove her innocence. And, he questions, if the condemned witches truly are guilty, how could the testimony of these servants and allies of Satan be reliable? Spee’s insistence that suspects, no matter how heinous the crimes of which they are accused, possess certain inalienable rights is a timeless reminder for the present day.
The Cautio Criminalis is one of the most important and moving works in the history of witch trials and a revealing documentation of one man’s unexpected humanity in a brutal age. Marcus Hellyer’s accessible translation from the Latin makes it available to English-speaking audiences for the first time.
Studies in Early Modern German History
From the serpent goddesses of ancient Crete to modern nature-worship and the restoration of the indigenous religions of eastern Europe, this wide-ranging book offers a rewarding new perspective of European history.
In this definitive study, Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick draw together the fragmented sources of Europe's native religions and establish the coherence and continuity of the Pagan world vision. Exploring Paganism as it developed from the ancient world through the Celtic and Germanic periods, the authors finally appraise modern Paganism and its apparent causes as well as addressing feminist spirituality, the heritage movement, nature-worship and `deep' ecology
This innovative and comprehensive history of European Paganism will provide a stimulating, reliable guide to this popular dimension of religious culture for the academic and the general reader alike.
This distinction is followed by an analysis of the contents of folk tradition regarding witchcraft, the most basic feature of which is its emphasis on sorcery, including bodily harm, love magic, and weather magic, rather than diabolism. The author then shows how and why learned traditions became superimposed on popular notions – how people taken to court for sorcery were eventually convicted on the further charge of devil worship. The book ends with a description of the social context of witch accusations and witch trials.
This in-depth and comprehensive resource explores the intersection of religion, politics, and the supernatural that spawned the notorious witch hunts in Europe and the New World. Witch Hunts in the Western World traces the evolution of western attitudes towards magic, demons, and religious nonconformity from the Roman Empire through the Age of Enlightenment, placing these chilling events into a wider social and historical context. Witch hunts are discussed in fascinating detail by region, highlighting the cultural differences of the people who incited them as well as the key reforms, social upheavals, and intellectual debates that shaped European thought. Vivid accounts of trials and excerpts from the writings of both witch hunters and defenders throughout the Holy Roman Empire, France, the British Isles and colonies, Southern Europe, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe bring to life one of the most intriguing and shocking periods in Western history.
Accessible narrative chapters make this a fascinating volume for general readers while offering a wealth of historic information for students and scholars. Features include a complete glossary of terms, timeline of major events, recommended reading selections, index, and black and white illustrations.
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.
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.
The witch trials of the late Middle Ages and the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have inspired a huge and expanding scholarly literature, as well as an outpouring of popular representations. This fully revised and enlarged third edition brings together many of the best and most important works in the field. It explores the origins of witchcraft prosecutions in learned and popular culture, fears of an imaginary witch cult, the role of religious division and ideas about the Devil, the gendering of suspects, the making of confessions and the decline of witch beliefs. An expanded final section explores the various "revivals" and images of witchcraft that continue to flourish in contemporary Western culture.
Equipped with an extensive introduction that foregrounds significant debates and themes in the study of witchcraft, providing the extracts with a critical context, The Witchcraft Reader is essential reading for anyone with an interest in this fascinating subject.
Key topics discussed within the book include:
The role of language in creating and shaping the concept of witchcraft
The laws and treatises written against witchcraft
The representation of witchcraft in early modern literature
The representation of witchcraft in recent literature, TV and film
Scholarly approaches to witchcraft through time
The relationship between witchcraft and paganism
With an extensive further reading list, summaries and questions to consider at the end of each chapter, Witchcraft: The Basics is an ideal introduction for anyone wishing to learn more about this controversial issue in human culture, which is still very much alive today.
Employing a wide selection of archival, literary, and visual materials, Roper presents a series of thematic studies that range from the role of emotions in Renaissance culture to demonology as entertainment, and from witchcraft as female embodiment to the clash of cultures on the brink of the Enlightenment. Rather than providing a vast synthesis or survey, this book is questioning and exploratory in nature and illuminates our understanding of the mental and psychic worlds of people in premodern Europe.
Roper’s spectrum of theoretical interests will engage readers interested in cultural history, psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory, art history, and early modern European studies. These essays, three of which appear here for the first time in print, are complemented by more than forty images, from iconic paintings to marginal drawings on murals or picture frames. In her unique focus on the imagery of witchcraft, Lyndal Roper has succeeded in adding a compelling new dimension to the study of witchcraft in early modern Europe.