Get Demons of Urban Reform: Early European Witch Trials and PDF

By Laura Patricia Stokes

ISBN-10: 1403986835

ISBN-13: 9781403986832

A comparative research of early witch trials in Lucerne, Nuremberg and Basel, in the context of legal justice and social keep an eye on. The case of Lucerne presents a desirable interaction among witch trials and a change within the city's legal strategy on one hand, and among witchcraft fears and social keep an eye on at the different.

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Additional info for Demons of Urban Reform: Early European Witch Trials and Criminal Justice, 1430-1530 (Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic)

Example text

The witches’ sabbath appeared in the Errores Gazariorum, “when all are assembled at the synagogue,”41 and is implied by the “sect” which Tholosan mentioned. ”42 In Martin le Franc’s 1440 poem Le Champion des dames, the Adversary says: It’s true. I’ve heard it. 43 Yet in witch trials throughout German-speaking Switzerland and northward into Upper Germany, such a vast conspiracy was rarely suspected. Instead, the accused confessed that they went individually or in twos and threes to meet with their personal devils.

While claiming not to be Anabaptists themselves, these men, often in violation of their oaths of office, contended with the city’s authority in local matters. In a particularly noteworthy case in February of 1530, forty-nine men in the territory of Farnsburg refused to carry out orders to arrest Anabaptists. Of these, six had sworn oaths of office binding them to obey the authorities of Basel. 38 It was only when the city began to employ the death penalty for the most infamous Anabaptist leaders and to banish some of the lapsed Anabaptists that they slowly began to get a handle on the situation.

Even within the region, other concepts of evil magicians had currency, particularly in urban centers. The urban concerns with ritual black magic on the one hand and divinatory fraud on the other were shared by Basel and Nuremberg. It is not my intention to map out a full cultural geography here, but only to sketch out one broad element within it, the Alpine witch who dominated the fears of ordinary people in Basel and Lucerne and throughout the region from which most fifteenth- century demonologists were drawing their material.

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Demons of Urban Reform: Early European Witch Trials and Criminal Justice, 1430-1530 (Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic) by Laura Patricia Stokes


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