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European Witch-Hunts 16th-17th Century

Caroline Gamble
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Caroline Gamble

on 6 September 2012

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Transcript of European Witch-Hunts 16th-17th Century

European Witch-Hunts
During the 16th Century Known as "The Burning Times"
Once Christianity took hold in the late Middle Ages, witches were seen as DEVIL WORSHIPERS who held BLACK MASSES.
During the Reformation
1450s-1750s
Epidemics (like the Black Plague), natural disasters, and outbreaks of mass hysteria lead to pinpointing witches as the culprits Background -Supposedly 20-25% of whom that were executed were males.
-Over half of all the witch cases that went to "parlement" in Paris were men.
-Men Accused:
1. Ireland- 90%
2. Estonia- 60%
3. Finland- 50% Male "witches" Men and women found it easy to turn witchcraft ideas into a realistic belief.
Most accusations started with another conflict that had nothing to do with the situation (as seen in The Crucible) Responsible? "The rate of witch hunting varied dramatically throughout Europe, ranging from a high of 26,000 deaths in Germany to a low of 4 in Ireland." (Gibbons, Recent Developments.)
110,000 witch trials
On average, 48% of trials ended in an execution
60,000 witches died Overall Deaths Caroline Gamble
Maria Brantley
John Ruch
Jonathan Nunez Used extreme torture to extract "confessions"
Witches were executed by public hanging or burning. Torture Witch Stereotypes Most accused witches accused under the pretense that they "looked like a witch."
Most were elderly and lived alone or young and with children
Common feature was "the devils mark," or a MOLE! (signified a pact made with the devil)
If the mark bled then they were human. Town inquisitors would seek out witches and proving their guilt or innocence.
Used a spinner.
Mallevs Malifica. -3 main parts: 1) Asked questions to secure idenity of a witch
2)How to cure the damage of witchcraft in a community
3)How to try and execute a witch How to find a Witch "Most witches were condemned by secular courts."

They went on witch hunts, which are similar to modern day interrogations.

A large group convinced to witch craft so they would not be killed.

Steven Katz notes, "statistical evidence ... makes clear that over 99.9-plus percent of all women who lived during the three centuries of the witch craze were not harmed directly by the police arm of either the state or the church, though both had the power to do so had the elites that controlled them so desired."

Gendercide Females were the main target of witchcraft.

In the book, the author claims that women are a natural temptation, and they are viewed as a foe to friendship.

It was the most influential and widely used book on witchcraft. In the book, it describes women instruments of Satan by nature.


The Hammer of Witches Women are cast as witches because growing fears they generate in respect of their abilities to control men.

Linked to theological traditions of Eve and Lilith, women are perceived as embodiments of negativity. Though not quite as literal embodiments of the Devil as were Jews, women are, rather, their ontological "first cousins" who, like the Jews, emerge from the "left" or sinister side of being. Medieval concept corresponds to Jewish concept www.wurn.com Citations
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