Download Agents of Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy and Denmark by L. Kallestrup PDF

By L. Kallestrup

This booklet deals a comparability of lay and inquisitorial witchcraft prosecutions. In lots of the early sleek interval, witchcraft jurisdiction in Italy rested with the Roman Inquisition, while in Denmark basically the secular courts raised trials. Kallestrup explores the narratives of witchcraft as they have been laid ahead by way of humans all in favour of the rigors.

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Sample text

The magician was no longer the practitioner of ritual magic demanding the Devil’s assistance. The pact with the Devil continued to form the basis for the performance of magical rituals, but it had taken a new form. The magician worshipped the Devil and had sexual relations with her master. Summis desiderantes referred to both male and female magicians, while Malleus malefifi carum focussed entirely on the female sex. It is equally worth noting that the selfish motives of the magician have now been replaced by the idea that witches harmed their surroundings without any particular reason except out of evil.

He was the highest authority in the case and had to secure a fair trial. He could not just prosecute a suspect purely on the basis of a witness’s denunciation of an alleged witch for suspected past or future acts of witchcraft. Even the examination of the house where the accused lived had to follow a strict set of measures. When the officials of the inquisition had taken the accused into custody, they had to execute a search of the address. 119 These could, for example, be mirrors, threads, wax or needles.

110 It could also be argued that the perception of witches that is expressed in the manuals primarily represented popular notions about the evil intentions of witches and about their practice of malevolent magic, which Scaglia must have known from his work as an inquisitor. Where Scaglia found it necessary to include elements taken from the learned, demonological image of the witch, referring to black sabbaths and the harm caused by hatred alone, he kept them so brief that the reader might easily believe that their inclusion was nothing but a formality.

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