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.
Offering a selection of historical writing on witchcraft, this text explores how belief in witchcraft began and the social and cultural context in which this belief flourished. A range of historical perspectives is collected here.
The essays in this Handbook, written by leading scholars working in the rapidly developing field of witchcraft studies, explore the historical literature regarding witch beliefs and witch trials in Europe and colonial America between the early fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. During these years witches were thought to be evil people who used magical power to inflict physical harm or misfortune on their neighbours. Witches were also believed to have made pacts with the devil and sometimes to have worshipped him at nocturnal assemblies known as sabbaths. These beliefs provided the basis for defining witchcraft as a secular and ecclesiastical crime and prosecuting tens of thousands of women and men for this offence. The trials resulted in as many as fifty thousand executions. These essays 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. They also relate these prosecutions to the Catholic and Protestant reformations, the introduction of new forms of criminal procedure, medical and scientific thought, the process of state-building, profound social and economic change, early modern patterns of gender relations, and the wave of demonic possessions that occurred in Europe at the same time. The essays survey the current state of knowledge in the field, explore the academic controversies that have arisen regarding witch beliefs and witch trials, propose new ways of studying the subject, and identify areas for future research.
The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, now in its fourth edition, is the perfect resource for both students and scholars of the witch-hunts written by one of the leading names in the field. 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. This new edition includes the most recent research on children, gender, male witches and demonic possession as well as broadening the exploration of the geographical distribution of witch prosecutions to include recent work on regions, cities and kingdoms enabling students to identify comparisons between countries. Now fully integrated with Brian Levack’s The Witchcraft Sourcebook, there are links to the sourcebook throughout the text, pointing students towards key primary sources to aid them in their studies. The two books are drawn together on a new companion website with supplementary materials for those wishing to advance their studies, including an extensive guide to further reading, a chronology of the history of witchcraft and an interactive map to show the geographical spread of witch-hunts and witch trials across Europe and North America. A long-standing favourite with students and lecturers alike, this new edition of The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe will be essential reading for those embarking on or looking to advance their studies of the history of witchcraft
Christina Larner,Christopher Hyde Lee,Hugh V. McLachlan
Author: Christina Larner,Christopher Hyde Lee,Hugh V. McLachlan
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
First published in 1977 and now reprinted in its original form, A Source-book of Scottish Witchcraft has been the most authoritative reference book on Scottish Witchcraft for almost thirty years. It has been invaluable to the specialist scholar and of interest to the general reader. It provides, but provides much more than, a series of lists of the 'names and addresses' of long-dead witches. However, although it is widely quoted and held in high esteem, few copies were ever printed and most are owned by libraries or similar institutions. Until now, it has been difficult to obtain and even more difficult to buy. In 1938, George F. Black, a Scotsman who was in charge of New York Public Library, published A Calendar of Cases of Witchcraft in Scotland 1510-1727. This was a fairly comprehensive compilation of brief accounts of references, in printed sources, to Scottish witchcraft cases. The Source-book built upon this study but went beyond it by including, through an examination of actual ancient manuscripts, information on previously unpublished cases. It also presented the material in a more systematic way in relation, where known, to the names of the accused witches, their sex, their fate, the place of the case, its date and the type of court that dealt with it. Some such information is presented in the form of tables. Transcriptions of documents pertaining to witchcraft trials- such as examples of the evidence of supposed witnesses, and other salient legal documents - including, for instance, an ancient account of when and why the testimony of female witnesses might be legally acceptable in Scottish courts - are also presented.
Breslaw draws on Native American, African, South American, and African-American sources, as well as the European and New England heritage, to illuminate the ways in which witchcraft in early America was an attempt to understand and control evil and misfortune in the New World.
Whether you're a Wiccan searching for a website, a Pagan on the hunt for paraphernalia, or a New Ager trying to find an art class, here in the ultimate resource guide to all things magickal. Everything you need to know is right here in this comprehensive, easy-to-use volume that has been exhaustively researched and completely revised.
In a culture where the supernatural possessed an immediacy now strange to us, magic was of great importance both in the literary mythic tradition and in ritual practice. In this book, Daniel Ogden presents 300 texts in new translations, along with brief but explicit commentaries. Authors include the well known (Sophocles, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny) and the less familiar, and extend across the whole of Graeco-Roman antiquity.
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft has influenced and guided countless students, coven initiates, and solitaries around the world. One of modern Wicca's most recommended books, this comprehensive text features a step-by-step course in Witchcraft, with photographs and illustrations, rituals, beliefs, history, and lore, as well as instruction in spellwork, divination, herbalism, healing, channeling, dreamwork, sabbats, esbats, covens, and solitary practice. The workbook format includes exam questions at the end of each lesson, so you can build a permanent record of your spiritual and magical training. This complete self-study course in modern Wicca is a treasured classic—an essential and trusted guide that belongs in every Witch's library. Praise: "A masterwork by one of the great Elders of the Craft. Raymond Buckland has presented a treasure trove of Wiccan lore. It is a legacy that will provide magic, beauty, and wisdom to future generations of those who seek the ancient paths of the Old Religion."—Ed Fitch, author of Magical Rites from the Crystal Well "I read Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft with much pleasure. This book contains enough information and know-how for all approaches: the historical, the philosophical, and the pragmatic . . . quite entertaining, as much for the armchair enthusiast as for the practicing occultist."—Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of The Mists of Avalon "Never in the history of the Craft has a single book educated as many people, spurred as many spiritual paths, or conjured as much personal possibility as Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft."—Dorothy Morrison, author of The Craft
"In the sixteenth century, a rise in sexual violence in European society was exacerbated by pressure from church and state to change basic sexual customs...As the centuries since have shown escalating levels both of violence, general and sexual, and of state control, the witchcraze can be considered a portent, even a model, of some aspects of what modern Europe would be like." Over three centuries, approximately one hundred thousand persons, most of whom were women, were put to death under the guise of "witch hunts", particularly in Reformation Europe. The shocking annihilation of women from all walks of life is explored in this brilliant, authoritative feminist history Anne Llwellyn Barstow. Barstow exposes an unrecognized holocaust -- the "ethnic cleansing" of independent women in Reformation Europe -- and examines the residual attitudes that continue to influence our culture. Barstow argues that it is only with eyes sensitive to gender issues that we can discern what really happened in the persecution and murder of these women. Her sweeping chronicle examines the scapegoating of women from the ills of society, investigates how their subjugation to sexual violence and death sent a message of control to all women, and compares this persecution of women with the enslavement and slaughter of African slaves and Native Americans. Ultimately Barstow traces the current backlash against women to its gynophobic torture-filled origins. In the process, she leaves an indelible mark on our growing understanding of the legacy of violence against women around the world.
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.
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.
The Witch (1615/16?), categorised by its author as 'a tragi-comedy', pits the intrigues of a group of Italian aristocrats against the malevolent practices of Hecate and her witches' coven, leaving the audience with the impression that human malevolence is by far the fiercer and more effective. This edition sets the play into its dramatic and literary contexts, ranging from Shakespeare's Macbeth and Middleton's own later tragedies to Reginald Scot's sceptical Discovery of Witchcraft and King James's virulent Daemonologie. It also argues that Middleton wrote it as a topical satire to capitalise on the scandal involving Frances Howard, who obtained a divorce from the Earl of Essex on the grounds that he had been sexually incapacitated by witchcraft; she was also rumoured to have tried to poison him. Middleton exposes his noble characters precisely by letting them get away with murder.
"A handbook for hunting and punishing witches to assist the Inquisition and Church in exterminating undesirables. Mostly a compilation of superstition and folklore, the book was taken very seriously at the time it was written in the 15th century and became a kind of spiritual law book used by judges to determine the guilt of the accused"--From publisher description.
Magic, witches, and demons have drawn interest and fear throughout human history. In this comprehensive primary source reader, Martha Rampton traces the history of our fascination with magic and witchcraft from the first through to the seventeenth century. In over 80 readings presented chronologically, Rampton demonstrates how understandings of and reactions toward magic changed and developed over time, and how these ideas were influenced by various factors such as religion, science, and law. The wide-ranging texts emphasize social history and include early Merovingian law codes, the Picatrix, Lombard's Sentences, The Golden Legend, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. By presenting a full spectrum of source types including hagiography, law codes, literature, and handbooks, this collection provides readers with a broad view of how magic was understood through the medieval and early modern eras. Rampton's introduction to the volume is a passionate appeal to students to use tolerance, imagination, and empathy when travelling back in time. The introductions to individual readings are deliberately minimal, providing just enough context so that students can hear medieval voices for themselves.
Records of a Witchcraft Trial in Brunswick, Germany, 1663, Second Edition
Author: Peter A. Morton
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
The Trial of Tempel Anneke examines documents from an early modern European witchcraft trial with the pedagogical goal of allowing students to interact directly with primary sources. A brief historiographical essay has been added, along with eleven civic records, including regulations about sorcery, Tempel Anneke's marital agreement, and court salaries, which provide an even clearer picture of life in seventeenth-century Europe. Maps of Harxbüttel and the Holy Roman Empire and lists of key players enable easy reference.
This unique anthology is the first to provide a multicultural perspective on witchcraft from the 15th to 18th century. Featuring primary documents as well as scholarly interpretations, Witches of the Atlantic World builds upon information regarding both Christian and non-Christian beliefs about possession and the demonic. Elaine G. Breslaw draws on Native American, African, South American, and African-American sources, as well as the European and New England heritage, to illuminate the ways in which witchcraft in early America was an attempt to understand and control evil and misfortune in the New World. Organized into sections on folklore and magic, diabolical possession, Christian perspectives, and the question of gender, the volume includes selections by Cotton Mather, Matthew Hopkins, and Samuel Willard, among others; Salem trial testimonies; and commentary by a host of distinguished scholars. Together the materials demonstrate how the Protestant and Catholic traditions shaped American concepts, and how multicultural aspects played a key role in the Salem experience. Witches of the Atlantic World sheds new light on one of the most perplexing aspects of American history and provides important background for the continued scholarly and popular interest in witches and witchcraft today.
Shortlisted for the 2008 Katharine Briggs Award. 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.
In this original study of witchcraft, Gibson explores the stories told by and about witches and their 'victims' through trial records, early news books, pamphlets and fascinating personal accounts. The author discusses the issues surrounding the interpretation of original historical sources and demonstrates that their representations of witchcraft are far from straight forward or reliable. Innovative and thought-provoking, this book sheds new light on early modern people's responses to witches and on the sometimes bizarre flexibility of the human imagination.