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who deemed witchcraft as heresy in 1484

Heresy: A belied contrary to the authorised teaching of the catholic church -

Pope Innocent Vlll

- inquisitors were appointed to investigate witchcraft and destroy it


Which groups in the eyes of some church leaders were in a ‘diabolical conspiracy’ to weaken and destroy christianity?

Witches, heretics, and jews - they are the enemy of religion


What is the devils pact?

14th century: witches prosecuted for holding meetings to worship the devil in alpine (mountain) regions of francs, italy, Switzerland

15th century: believed witches had a pact with the devil in return for material reward, devils mark was sign of pact

16th century: sacrifices including feasting on children’s bodies etc occurred at sabbats


What was introduced in the late 15th century which became the main vehicle for transmitting knowledge about demonic witchcraft?

the printing press and literature


Who was appointed as an inquisitor in southern germany in 1486 and published
Malleus Maleficarum?


- suggested witches were invariably women
- said legal ways needed to abandoned to find them as they were difficult to trace
- explained how to prosecute them


What does Wolfgang Behringer claim influenced the witch craze in parts of Germany, Switzerland, and eastern France after 1470?

plague - people sought scapegoats


During the judicial process and use of torture, what typically confirmed the belief of witches as reality?



What did Weyer, a sceptic, say?

That killing witches was simply the killing of innocents because his medical knowledge showed him that a lot of maleficia could be explained by natural causes.

He said that confessions could be the result of a mental disorder.


What can be attributed to the fewer executions of witches between 1520 and 1560?

• scepticism amongst the elite
• preoccupation of authorities due to the reformation in the 16th century


When was the reformation and what was it?

1500’s - 16th century

protestants reforming the catholic church


Was there ever really a witchcraze in the 15th and 16th century?

No. The great witch hunt between 1560 and 1660 had little consistency in regards to geographical distribution of witchcraft cases. Also, the periods in which persecution’s were at their peak in certain areas was consistent in that places like the Netherlands had ended trials by the early 17th century but in places like Sweden it only took off mid way through the 17th century.

Thus, there was never really a ‘craze’.


Were witches 75% male or female across most regions?

Female (old, single, beggars)

- they were argued to be more easily manipulates and controlled by the devil as they were the weaker sex (like Eve in the garden of eden story in the bible)

- society was patriarchal

HOWEVER, not all witches were female - in iceland 90% of condemned witches were male