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Witch Hunt Finals

History of the European Witch Hunts

TermDefinitionSignificance
Maleficium Latin for "wrong doing", used to describe harmful magic intended to cause harm or death Was associated with the early definition of witchcraft before it became associated with diabolism
Albigensians 13th century heretics. Believed that spiritual world was good but that all matter was evil. Abstained from sex, participated in extreme fasts. Had own priests and church hierarchy. Church protested, and crusade to crush them began in 1209. Were among first heretics punished by Church
Dominicans Religious order originally established to reconvert and reeducate Christian beliefs in individuals in 1220. Later became inquisitors (1232), watchdogs of Christian faith Inquisitors pressured Pope to permit a witch hunt in the first place
Medieval Inquisition Legal system invented by Church, included: investigation, assumed guilt, accusation (often anonymously), confession, and repentance/execution Was implemented by secular courts during the 16th century
Trial by Ordeal Physical test on body, using fire, water or poison typically. If you survived, you were innocent. Banned by Church in 1215, reimplemented in the 16th century
Waldensians Religious order, started in 1179 by Peter Valdes. They wanted to translate bible into vernacular language, Pope refused. They continued underground, and became heretics.
Persecution of the Jews Restrictions put on Jews by Church as to property rights , religious rights, taxes, etc. Dominicans wanted to convert them. Pope did not want them persecuted, but Dominicans and popular belief did not agree. Indicated the contradiction between papal decree and practised conventions in the Church.
Johannes Tinctor Wrote the Foul Manual, invective against the sect of Waldensians in 1460. Argues witches exist, calls for their extermination Helped create modern ideas of witches
Kramer wrote "Malleus Maleficarium" in 1486 - became the textbook of witch hunts. He was fanatical, promoted ideas of witchcraft. His book was adopted by secular courts, gave common idea of witchcraft to work off of.
Querelles des Femmes debate on women. Historical examples were used to discuss whether women were ultimately good or bad Indicated gender roles was an important topic, at least among scholars
Reformation early 16th century, reformation of Church from within based on its doctrine, practices, and structure. Destabilized16th century European society.
Bouget Prominent witchcraft judge trial, also considered expert on werewolves.
Remy French witch hunter. Believed Devil could stir up humours, causing bad thoughts and hallucinations. Sent 900 women to death
Weyer doubted realities of charges (flying through night, sex w Devil, etc) Believed Devil enters minds of women and creates illusions, causing women to believe they are witches
Scott Criticizes witchcraft, denies reality of magic but is misogynistic towards women still. Argues for more naturalistic rationale.
Carolina Code 1532 in the Holy Roman Empire, clear statement of witchcraft as crime. laid foundation for witch trials and use of torture. Implemented death penalty and advised secular authorities to consult with religious authorities, reimposed inquisitorial method
Bodin Wrote guide to evidence needed to convict witches: proof of witchcraft, confession, and the testimony of others verifying the individual is a witch Encouraged use of torture, confession, hearsay, circumstantial evidence, unreliable witnesses, spectral evidence.
Matthew Hopkins English witchhunter, tried approx. 120 witches, didn't use torture but pushed people as far as he could Was one of primary forces behind England's witchtrials
Witches of Warboys 1593 England, Throckmorten's child becomes possessed, Alice Samuels is accused of witchcraft (lower class neighbour), eventually she confesses and is put to death Highlights class struggle as a factor in accusing witches
Nuns of Loudun Group of nuns in convent became possesed, local priest Urbain Grandier was accused and burned for the crime.
Salem One of latest, largest witch hunts. Town in New England experienced outbreak of possession symptoms in young girls Resembled European trials despite being so geographically distanced from them. Community was under considerable stress
Werewolf Trials Occurred at same as witchhunts, were connected sometimes. Accused of turning into wolf, wolf-riding or wolf-charming. Symptoms include: wolf-like tendencies, pale, weak vision, dry tongue and eyes. Could turn into witch trials if the accused said they use magic to transform themselves, or if they claimed to be working with Satan.
Margaret Murray anthropologist, believed witch hunts were act to suppress pagan religion that centred around a horned god of fertility which prosecutors called the Devil (witch-cult theory) Was a popular theory for a while, but has been discredited - no evidence this cult ever existed.
Gerald Gardner Brought pagan religion of Wicca into public eye, father of Neopaganism He popularized idea of witch-cult
Heresy An opinion, chose by human perception, contrary to Holy Scripture, publicly avowed and defended. Early persecutions by the Church focused on identifying heretics, and then witchcraft as a form of heresy.
Created by: tomkellym
 

 



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