Person Performing Whitchcraft And Poisoning In The Wwst Indies

The notion of a pact with demons or with the devil, either explicit or tacit, was for Christian authorities in medieval and early-modern Europe an essential element of most forms of sorcery, and this was one of the central crimes entailed in witchcraft. The roots of the Christian notion of the demonic pact are found in the Bible, chiefly Isaiah 28 15, given in the early-modern King James' Version as, We have made a covenant with death and with hell we are at agreement. The...

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Technically referring to a form of divination that involves summoning the spirits of the dead, throughout much of the medieval and early-modern periods, necromancy came to mean demonic magic, and specifically a complex, learned form of ritual demonic invocation. Some of this confusion might have arisen from the Christian notion that the spirits of the dead, be they in heaven or hell, could not be summoned to return to earth, and so any sorcerer or diviner claiming to do so was in...

Regional Variations

Any discussion of the general pattern of witch-hunts for all of Europe is complicated by the degree of regional variance in levels of concern and responses to this crime in the 16th and 17th centuries. Although the basic idea of witchcraft was accepted in almost all European lands, including colonial possessions overseas, nevertheless there were important differences in the acceptance of certain aspects of the witch-stereotype, and certainly in the patterns of prosecution that fear of witches...

Introduction

Witchcraft is an important and difficult historical subject. Throughout human history, most cultures and societies have conceived of certain categories of malevolent people who are supposedly able to access or exhibit powers of great supernatural evil. In Europe during the Middle Ages and the early-modern period, such people were believed to be in league with the devil and bent on the destruction of Christian society on earth. For over 300 years, from the 15 th to the 18 th centuries, social...

Osculum Infame Ritual

The osculum infame or obscene kiss refers to the kiss witches were often thought to have to give the devil on his buttocks or anus as a sign of their homage and subservience to him while he presided over a witches' sabbath. A kiss was a typical sign of reverence in medieval society, and a kiss on the anus symbolized the profound inversion and obscenity entailed in witchcraft. Similar actions such as kissing demons or animals the devil was often thought to preside over a sabbath in...

Witchcraft In Other World Cultures

In Europe, witchcraft developed along a particular historical trajectory, deeply influenced by Christian concepts of evil, the devil, and de-monology, but shaped also by unique European social and legal developments. For these reasons, the great witch-hunts that occurred in Europe from the 15th to the 18th centuries have never been matched elsewhere in the world. Nevertheless, witchcraft in a more general sense, understood to mean simply the practice of harmful forms of sorcery by malevolent...

Colonialamerica Witchcraft In Witchcraft was not a

Significant problem, and witch-hunts were extremely rare, throughout almost all of the European colonies in the New World. The major exception occurred in the British colonies in New England, where significant witch-hunting did occur in the 17th century. In all, more than 200 people were put on trial for witchcraft in New England, over half in the single famous outbreak at Salem, Massachusetts, and 36 were executed, with 20 of these occurring at Salem alone. This number is significant given...

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Widespread persecution of witchcraft began significantly later in all the lands of Eastern Europe primarily Poland, Hungary, and Russia than in the West. The intensity of witch-hunting, however, varied considerably from region to region. In general, those lands in close proximity to the German Empire experienced the severest witch-hunts, most closely resembling the Western model. On the other hand, lands that adhered to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, as opposed to...

Historical Study And Modern Witchcraft

In the course of the 19th century, European scholars first began to address the question of historical witchcraft and the witch-hunts of the late-medieval and early-modern periods in a serious way although many of their conclusions were based more on their own ideological convictions than on the historical evidence . As early as 1828, the German scholar Karl-Ernst Jarcke advanced the theory that those persecuted for witchcraft had in fact been practicing an ancient, pagan religion. His purpose...

Thomas Aquinas Witchcraft

The victim of perhaps the single most famous witchcraft accusation made in Scandinavia, Anna was the wife of the Lutheran minister and famous scholar Absalon Pedersen Beyer. The charges against her arose mainly out of popular opposition to the attempts by Absalon and other Protestant clergy to remove holy images from the churches of Bergen, Sweden, in accordance with Lutheran teachings. Because the clergymen themselves were too highly placed for their efforts...

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The Protestant Reformation of the 16 th century and the Catholic Counter-Reformation that occurred to some extent in response to the Protestant challenge contributed to the fear of witchcraft in Europe in complex ways. Although Protestant leaders like Martin Luther and Jean Calvin rejected many aspects of medieval theology and canon law, they did not challenge any of the basic notions of medieval demonology on which the idea of diabolical witchcraft rested. In fact, many Protestant...

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CAESARIUS OF HEISTERBACH ca. 1180-1250 . A well-known Cistercian abbot of Heisterbach in the Rhineland, Caesarius was a theologian and the author of numerous treatises on religious subjects. His most famous work was the Dialogus miraculorum Dialogue on Miracles , composed in the 1220s and 1230s. In this long, moralizing work he included several stories of demons and demonic sorcery, particularly necromancy. He stands as an example of the increasing concern over such matters on the part of...

Chronology

The Code of Hammurabi, one of the first written law codes, contains sections dealing with magic and legal charges of sorcery and witchcraft. Ca. 400 b.c.e. By this time, magicians magoi come to have a very negative reputation in ancient Greece. They are condemned by Plato, among others. Ca. 150-400 c.e. Early Christian writers such as Tertullian, Origen, and John Chrysostom condemn magic by associating it with demonic forces, while defending Christian miracles as non-magical....

The Emergence Of Witchcraft And The Age Of The European Witchhunts

In the early 15 th century, the fully developed idea of European witchcraft of witches as demonic sorcerers who worshiped the devil and formed a vast, conspiratorial, diabolic cult dedicated to the destruction of the Christian world began to emerge. Especially in lands in and around the western Alps, where some of the first true witch-hunts took place, the number of trials involving charges of harmful and maleficent sorcery increased significantly. In addition, even when the initial accusations...

Council Of Basel Witchcraft

A famous witch in Russian folklore, Baba Yaga was pictured as an old woman who lured people to her home where she cooked and devoured them. She especially liked to practice such cannibalism on young children. Much more a demonic monster than a human figure, she lived in a hut beyond a river of fire. The hut was surrounded by stakes set with human heads and was built on chicken legs, so that it could move at her command. She often flew through the air in an iron cauldron. She is...