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The Malleus Maleficarum And The Construction Of Witchcraft: Theology And Popular Belief (Review), Michael D. Bailey Jul 2006

The Malleus Maleficarum And The Construction Of Witchcraft: Theology And Popular Belief (Review), Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

There is perhaps no historical text more associated in the popular imagination with the horrors of the European witch hunts than the infamous Malleus maleficarum, commonly ascribed to the Dominicans Heinrich Kramer (Institoris) and Jacob Sprenger (in fact much evidence points to Kramer as the sole author). Proclaimed to be the great witch-hunting manual of the late-medieval and early-modern period, the Malleus has been held by some as a definitive statement of authoritative conceptions of witchcraft. In fact, scholars of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries have long recognized that the Malleus was in many respects an idiosyncratic work, that ...


Witches And Witch-Hunts: A Global History (Review), Michael D. Bailey Jul 2006

Witches And Witch-Hunts: A Global History (Review), Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

When Alan Macfarlane and Keith Thomas reinvigorated the study of historical European and particularly English witchcraft in the early 1970s, they were heavily influenced by studies of witchcraft in Africa, particularly the work of E. E. Evans-Pritchard done decades earlier. While they did not primarily [End Page 121] write comparative histories (only the final section of Macfarlane’s book is explicitly comparative), they drew on anthropological models to help them understand how belief in and fear of witches might have functioned in early modern English society. A door could have been flung open between the study of European and non-European ...


Council Of Basel, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Council Of Basel, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

The Council of Basel (1431-1449) played a unique and important role as a center for the development and diffusion of the idea of witchcraft in Western Europe. The full stereotype of witchcraft, entailing not just harmful sorcery (malejicium) but also demonic invocation and devil worship, heretical gatherings, and apostasy, emerged in a clear form only in the first decades of the fifteenth century, and some of the earliest recorded witch hunts took place during these years in lands just south of Basel, in the diocese of Geneva, Lausanne, and Sion. Politically, most of these regions were under the dominance of ...


The Meanings Of Magic, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

The Meanings Of Magic, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

The establishment of a new journal titled Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft begs the question: what do these words mean? In what sense do they comprise a useful academic category or field of inquiry? The history of magic and the cultural functions it has played and continues to play in many societies have been a focus of scholarship for well over one hundred years. Grand anthropological and sociological theories developed mostly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries offer clear structures, and the classic definitions of Edward Burnett Taylor, James Frazer, Emile Durkheim, and others still reverberate through much scholarly ...


Popular Witchcraft: Straight From The Witch’S Mouth (Review), Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Popular Witchcraft: Straight From The Witch’S Mouth (Review), Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

This book, a revised second edition, appears under the imprimatur (one hopes not the nihil obstat) of the University of Wisconsin Press, which recently acquired the Popular Press line in which the book first appeared in 1972. The updating for the 2004 edition was surely not difficult. Since the book has no real structure or argument, snippets of new information, mainly references to Mel Gisbon’s film The Passion of the Christ or the Harry Potter books, could simply be tossed into the mix. None of the vast scholarship on witchcraft that has appeared in the last thirty years is ...


Origins Of The Witch Hunts, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Origins Of The Witch Hunts, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

The first true witch hunts began in western Europe in the early fifteenth century. The earliest series of trials took place in Italy and in French- and German-speaking regions around the western Alps. Of course, concern about harmful sorcery had deep roots in medieval Europe, and both officially sanctioned prosecution and popular persecution had been brought to bear on its supposed practitioners long before. But only in the fifteenth century did the full stereotype of diabolical witchcraft develop, which would endure throughout the period of the major witch hunts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


Coins In The Countryside? Gauging Rural Monetization, David B. Hollander Jan 2006

Coins In The Countryside? Gauging Rural Monetization, David B. Hollander

History Publications

Monetization is "the extension...of the use of money in all its aspects... to the nonmonetized (subsistence and barter) sector" and can be measured by determining the "proportion of aggregate goods and services in an economy that are paid for in money by the purchaser." Such measurements are difficult to accomplish even for modern economies. For the ancient world, it is obviously impossible. Nevertheless the study of monetization in the ancient Mediterranean deserves greater attention. In this paper I will discuss the importance of monetization within and beyond the economic sphere, briefly review how scholars have treated the question of ...


Satan Hérétique: Histoire De La Démonologie (1280-1320) (Review), Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Satan Hérétique: Histoire De La Démonologie (1280-1320) (Review), Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

In this rich and informative study, Alain Boureau breathes new intellectual life into an old task—to explain the major European witch hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by reference to conditions in late medieval European society. Such founding fathers of the field of witchcraft studies as the American Henry Charles Lea and the German Joseph Hansen argued that the mentalities and legal procedures that supported early modern witch-hunting stemmed directly from the repressive qualities of the medieval church. More recently, a number of European and American scholars (including myself ) have focused on the earliest witch hunts and major ...


Communicating With The Spirits (Review), Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Communicating With The Spirits (Review), Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

This is the first in a series of three planned volumes containing essays presented at a conference on “Demons, Spirits, and Witches” held in Buda-pest in 1999. While this volume offers essays dealing with demonic possession, visionary experiences, trance states, and shamanism, future volumes contents of which are listed) will focus on demonology, both elite and popular, and on witchcraft. In all, forty-three articles will be published. As is typical with conference proceedings, indeed with essay collections of any sort, the articles in this volume vary considerably in their focus, and in the depth and breadth of their coverage. The ...


Bernard Gui, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Bernard Gui, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

Perhaps the most famous of all medieval inquisitors, and certainly one of the most important and influential, Bernard Gui is best known for his monumental inquisitor's handbook, Practica inquisitionis heretice pravitatis (The Practice of the Inquisition of Heretical Depravity), written around 1324. Although he never described anything like the full stereotype of witchcraft as it would appear in later centuries, he did include in this work several sections dealing with learned demonic magic, or necromancy, as well as more evidently popular forms of sorcery. The Practica inquisitionis became one of the most widely read of all medieval inquisitorial manuals ...


Conrad Of Marburg, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Conrad Of Marburg, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

A merciless inquisitor operating in the Rhineland in the early thirteenth century, Conrad of Marburg's reports describing widespread Luciferan (that is, devil worshipping) heresy were accepted by Pope Gregory IX (ruled 1227-1241), becoming the basis for the pope's decretal letter Vox in Rama (A Voice in Rama), which described a heretical cult worshiping the Devil. This document was an important source for later ecclesiastical authorities seeking to link heresy with diabolism and devil worship, and can be seen as a precursor oflater descriptions of witches' Sabbats.


Johannes Nider, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Johannes Nider, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

A Dominican theologian and religious reformer active in the early fifteenth century, Nider wrote some of the most extensive and influential early accounts of witchcraft. His major work on this subject, Formicarius (The Anthill), written in 1437 and 1438, was printed in seven separate editions between 1475 and 1692. It was also an important source of information for the infamous Malleus Malejicarum (The Hammer of Witches), written by the Dominican Heinrich Kramer and first published in 1486. The fifth book of the Formicarius, which dealt specifically with "witches and their deceptions" ("de maleficis et eorum deceptionibus"), was included in several ...


Pope John Xxii, Michael D. Bailey Jan 2006

Pope John Xxii, Michael D. Bailey

History Publications

Throughout his pontificate, John XXII exhibited a marked concern over matters of sorcery, divination, and demonic invocation. The pope feared magical assaults and assassination attempts on his own person, and he used charges of heresy, sorcery, and idolatry as political weapons against his enemies. He also promoted the more general persecution of sorcery by ordering papal inquisitors to take action against sorcerers and by issuing a sentence of automatic excommunication against all those who practiced any form of demonic invocation that entailed the supplication or worship of demons. His bull on this matter, Super illius specula (Upon His Watchtower), remained ...