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What was the state of Germany during the 17th century?

-not a unified state. Patchwork of political entities of varying size and influence
-some towns and cities could enjoy relative freedom if they had the status of an imperial city.
-town and village courts were given lots of freedom to make their own judgements


What was the religious context of the Holy Roman Empire?

-Protestant faith gradually gained support
-german towns became divided
-Catholic emperor Charles V gained victory over protestant confederacy in 1548, a new principle was established "The religion of a ruler would be the religion of the region".
-majority catholic town could be ruled by protestant leaders and vise versa


What was a prince bishop?

A Bishop who acts as civil governor of a principality. Large areas of HRE were under their rule in the 17th


What factors in the HRE led to witchcraft becoming more widespread?

-Political and judicial authority was fragmented meant that panics could easily take hold
-the context of the reformation and counter-reformation is important because it led to Germans fearing the Devils work all around them
-Germany had a limited legal framework to use against witches.


What was the importance of Bamberg?

-founded in the 11 century, the principality of Bamberg was created to aid the spread of Christianity in Germany. From 1242 became important centre of the Roman Catholic Church
-the extensive lands ruled by the catholic prince-bishops saw most witch persecution in Germany in the 17th century.


What was the counter-reformation?

-began in 16th century gained territory back for the catholic faith
-led by zealous prince-bishops from across the HRE and gained momentum through the influence of the Jesuit order (anti protestant sect of Catholic Church)
-Protestants believed that catholics were in league with the Devil and that the pope was the Antichrist.


How did Catholic emperors promote the Jesuit case?

-settled across modern Germany, Vienna, Grazm Innsbruck and Linz in Austria
-traditional forms of catholic devotion were encouraged and new shrines dedicated to saints were established
-elites who governed these states supported the Habsburg's and enabled them to cement their overall control


Who were the Habsburg's?

-German royal family that provided rulers for a number of European states.
-1551 split into Spanish and Austrian lines


What resistance did the counter reformation face in Bamberg?

-suffered some resistance, in small Lutheran commune of Markzeuln (controlled by bishop of Bamberg), the parishioners of the local protestant church refused to renounce their faith. New catholic ministers were chased out of the area


How did the authorities deal with the resistance to the Bamberg counter reformation?

-Johann Gottfried Von Aschhausen (JGvA) became prince bishop in 1609, he prioritised the conversion of his protestant parishes to Catholicism. The methods he used were;
1) fines imposed on protestant parishes
2)supplies of wood to protestant parishes were restricted
3) catholic troops were quartered in protestant villages
4) Dissidents (actively opposed policy) were sent into exile and some Lutherans were rounded up and arrested


What effect did the tactics employed by the authorities have on the Bamberg counter reformation?

-Some communities in Bamberg remained stubborn and in 1619 there were still some parishioners in Marktzeuln who refused to convert


What was the state of WC in Bamberg during the reign of JGvA and his predecessor

-JGvA sent uncooperative priests to their own prisons (priest vaults). Persecution of protestants, and as a result witches, not as widespread as FvD but still had around 300 witches executed
-Trials even took place before JGvA; his predecessor, Neytard Von Thungen, initiated the first persecutions in 1595


What event occured in 1610?

-JGvA issued a new ordinance concerning WC. Ordered an investigation, in which any person found guilty of practicing magic would be severely punished
-this coincided with a protestant rebellion in nearby Bohemia


What was the impact of the 1610 events?

-Bishops visitation report stated that WC still being carried out in Bamberg in form of fortune-telling and spell casting
-pre-Christian activities reported at a pagan shrine
-protestant preachers were being harboured, thus enhancing the connection between Protestantism and WC in the eyes of Catholic Church
-Lena Pantzerin, accused in 1612, outsider named Trill was needed to examine her. Her accusation led to more being accused.
-years 1616-19 saw increase in WC hunting. Stopped in 1616 as war in Bohemia meant authorities could not afford to keep hunts going


What were the origins of the 30 years war?

-role HRE emperor was declining by the 17th century
-Habsburg emperors were concerned with enhancing their territory through marriage. This caused resentment in places such as Bohemia and Moravia, where protestants became bitter as a result of counter-ref policies
-In Prague, defenestration was carried out on representatives of the emperor. Protestants of Bohemia then raised armies in support of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, the son in law of James I of England


What do some historians believe happened as a result of the 30 years war?

-some argue that this led to an increase in WH across the empire
-others argue that it decreased WH as the empire was distracted by war


How did the 30 years war evolve over time?

-foreign armies became involved with; 150k swedes, 100k Danes (both protestant), scottish, english and Dutch all fighting
-1635 France joined the anti-Habsburg side and the war became less a bout religion and more a continuation of the existing rivalry between the French and the Habsburg's in Spain and Germany


What was the impact of the 30's year war on Bamberg?

-large armies in Bamberg caused famines as villages and towns were plundered for supplies
-young men and boys conscripted to both sides
-crop failures and inflation also then contributed to an increased fear of witches as misfortune was seen to be present everywhere
-catholics in Bamberg who fought for the counter reformation became more fanatical than ever. Non catholics were heretics, suspected of WC


What type of people were accused of WC in the context of war?

-women whose sexual behaviour deviated from that expected by Catholic Church. Originated from protestant belief that persists should not live lives of celibacy
-people (both men and women) whose political views or attitude to the war deviated from those of the catholic authorities
-people who had reputation as healers, fortune-tellers or sorcerers became easy scapegoats
-upper class; under FvD a law that allowed confiscation of witches property was exploited, resulting in upper class being targeted


What was the impact of weather and crop failures on WC in Bamberg?

-Confession of Katharine Merckhlerin, made in Nov 1626 contained admission that she had been part of a plot to freeze and destroy all of Bambergs crops
-Trials peaked in 1929 which was same year frost destroyed wine crop
-1628 remembered as year without summer. Mini ice age in early 17th century
-combined with debt from war (800k florins) which led to high taxes.
-in the interest of Prince Bishop (PB) to carry out WH to ensure frost didnt return


What were petitions?

-sent from subjects to their overlords
-demanded the eradication of witches in a particular village, parish or town


What was the economic state of Bamberg?

-imports of silver from America declined after 1610. Non-silver currency had to be used
-Gold florin, reduced in gold content from 79% in 1400's to 77% in 1626
-inflation occured as goods increased in price.
-Bamberg citizens didn't understand economics so many blamed crisis on WC. Many accused lived on trade routes


What are some examples of economic causes being mentioned in confessions?

-Margaretha Eissmennin admitted that after extensive coin clipping, money lost its value and she was forced to turn to devil.
-Kunigudta Rindterin confessed that she entered into relationship with rich man in order to avoid poverty. Interpreted by accusers as pact with devil


What were the figures for the number accused of WC in Bamberg and how where these split across genders?

-600-900 between 1923 and 1932
-women made up 72.7% of those brought to trial


How did the hunts in Bamberg begin?

-Election of JGFvD as PB in 1623 allowed craze to become wide-spread.
-few isolated cases in years 1623-25 then mass trials took place from 1626.
-initial epicentre in Zeil (under Bambergs jurisdiction) where 59 were charged in 1626 with 30 executed.
-1627, 130 suspects from Zeil called before Bamberg court and 1628 trials spread to Bamberg itself
-at least 642 brought to trial between 1623-31


What social groups were affected by Bamberg Hunts?

-stereotype rarely found. In Zeil only 7 older women were sent for execution and only 2 of these were 'wisewomen'
-average age at 33.5 (marriageable age)
-most men accused were middle-aged except 9 year old boy
-boy confessed without any torture to a widely exaggerated story about a demon called George. Story involved many typical WC things.


What was unique about Bamberg hunts as opposed to other hunts at the time?

-High status individuals were accused including Mayor of Bamberg, John Junius and Mayor of Zeil, Hans Langhans.
-reason for this lies in their opposition to the trials as they were aiding the Devil. Those who failed to persecute were witches themselves
-Georg Eder, son of well known catholic reformer at imperial court was executed.


What started to happen from 1628 (to do with religion)

-officials began examining parish record for individuals who failed to receive Catholic communion. They were reported to the official commission on WC
-these people had either refused to convert or had reluctantly converted
-Eg; Two brothers, Johann and Georg Kauwer field to Rome where they presented the Vatican with a complaint against the PB. Both their parents were executed


What pattern was seen in WC trials in Bamberg?

-initially accused, father was executed along with his wife or vise versa
-Georg Hann was arrested for questioning trials after execution of his wife and daughter in 1628. Became under suspicion when he petitioned the imperial high court to intervene in cases of accused women. Easy to accuse him after execution of wife
-His son and daughter in-law where then condemned after they in turn protested about the treatment of Hann and his wife


What was the status of torture in Bamberg witch hunts?

-legal under 1532 Carolina Law Code which allowed large amount of devices to be used on accused
-PB had judicial freedom so numerous confessions were made in this way
-network of informers was created and a witch-prison was built in order to carry out torture
-confessions obtained under torture were permissible in court and defendants were denied many basic legal rights