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Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History

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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  162 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Selected by "Choice" magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 2001

The highly-acclaimed first edition of this book chronicled the rise and fall of witchcraft in Europe between the twelfth and the end of the seventeenth centuries. Now greatly expanded, the classic anthology of contemporary texts reexamines the phenomenon of witchcraft, taking into account the remarkable
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Paperback, 451 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by University of Pennsylvania Press (first published 1972)
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Bryn Hammond
Mar 13, 2016 Bryn Hammond rated it really liked it
Consists of primary sources put together in such a way as to explore the inception, growth and decline of witch beliefs almost as a narrative. One of the better ways to approach this material. Includes not only the obvious trials and churchly tracts, pamphlets and bulls and the insane Malleus (certified by scholars), but a wider clutch of writers; for instance, in the decline section, Michel de Montaigne as a guru of scepticism in general was welcome, along with the philosopher Spinoza's new tak ...more
Amy
Oct 13, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historians, feminists
Recommended to Amy by: professor of history
This is a good collection of primary sources on witchcraft crazes. There's a lot of interesting, crazy, scary, infuriating stuff in here. Also, they include many contemporary illustrations of witches, which are always worth a peep. My two complaints are thus: not enough contextual information to go with the primary sources, and the images seem just randomly placed throughout the book without reason or theme. But this is a great source for those starting out on witchcraft information, or for thos ...more
E.M. Powell
Sep 18, 2014 E.M. Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
When writing historical fiction, it's always important to access historical research that's as accurate as possible. My fiction is set in twelfth century England and research into events or issues can present challenges with the passage of some eight centuries.

I wished to include the issue of witchcraft or, to be more accurate, sorcery in my current novel. Many books on witchcraft/sorcery tend to concentrate on later centuries but I was thrilled to find entries in this book that covered the time
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Michael
Nov 13, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Historians, Students, Witches
Recommended to Michael by: serendipity
This is a collection of documents from the past which help to explain the intellectual context of the great European witch-hunts of Early Modernity. The editors have drawn from vast amounts of demonoligical and theological sources to present materials that trace its development from early Christianity until the Reformation and beyond. Also included are two sections of plates with images relating to witchcraft as portrayed in a time when most Europeans believed in witches.

The documents range from
...more
Janine
Sep 24, 2015 Janine rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
While this book is a compilation of primary sources - many if not most of them translated from their original languages into English - everything that the editors did (with some exception) to make it easier to read and comprehend was more than welcome. Each author was introduced so that one understood their background, and most of the pieces had a brief summary that came before them, to make reading the actual source easier. Very good compilation, very informative. Excellent, for a textbook.
Aradia
May 04, 2010 Aradia rated it it was amazing
Contains writings and documents from the 400-1700ce, with the central topic of witchcraft/magic. Many of the writings are, of course, from ecclesiastical sources-- if you have ever wondered where the modern negetive conception of witches or witchcraft originated then this book will be very enlightening-- and surprising. The Middle-Ages were not 'The Burning Times' so much as the Reniassance was.
Tiffany Thordal
Jul 10, 2012 Tiffany Thordal rated it really liked it
The book was really good for research and details that are hard to find. If you need information for a book report or just feel like reading about Witchcraft this is a good book for it.
Walt
Feb 23, 2009 Walt rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Although a bit dense with academic writing, this book provides an excellent overview - if long-winded - of the subject.
Mary McMyne
Aug 11, 2013 Mary McMyne rated it it was amazing
Cogent introduction with a carefully selected set of sources.
Lizzie Jones
May 11, 2016 Lizzie Jones rated it did not like it
Boring, required reading for a class.
Jamjam Panayo
Dec 02, 2012 Jamjam Panayo marked it as to-read
yeah :]
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