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The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  992 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Full text of most important witchhunter's "bible," used by both Catholics and Protestants.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1487)
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Oct 06, 2007 R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1974-2002
"Why is your son dressed like a pilgrim?"

"Oh, it's a phase he's going through."

"Why is he piling up all that wood?"

"Oh, it's a...a phase. We're pretty certain it's a phase. You know kids, ha-ha."

"Ha-ha. Why is he tying your youngest, his brother, to a pole? And...a gasoline can? Matches??! Is that a phase, too?"

"No. Witches. You can't suffer them to live."

"I suppose you're right. You can't."

"No. You really can't."

"For a second there..."

"Yeah, I know. But, no. Witch. Well, warlock, to get technic
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
I’ve cobbled together some thoughts on the Malleus Maleficarum – literally the Hammerer of the Witches - , one of the most infamous texts ever written on the subject of witchcraft. What follows is entirely impressionistic rather than a detailed exposition or a review as such; so please do bear that in mind. Besides, I’m not quite sure that a review of a primary text like this is in any way meaningful.

I’m assuming, though, that most of the people who glance at this article have never actually re
Dec 02, 2015 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems absurd that people actually thought that way once upon a time but it is part of history. Maybe some day future generations will think our way absurd too.
Mar 04, 2008 julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to get into the filthy minds of 15th century Puritan men who fear women? read this!
Janne Järvinen
The Malleus is often advertized as a "witch hunter's handbook", but it really isn't. It's not about hunting anything. It's not even really about what to do with witches after they're caught. It's really all about the tedious little details of the trial process.

First of all, the introduction is much crazier than the actual book. The translator was a raving lunatic. The first chapters of the actual text make Kramer seem quite a smart fellow, you know, just a victim of the ignorance of his times.

Sep 22, 2014 Amalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are interested in history
The Malleus is a historical document therefore reflects the views of some people at a specific time.

Now, according to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, The Catholic Inquisition published the book instructing the clergy how to locate, torture, and destroy ‘the freethinking women' but readers know how “accurate” Dan Brown’s sources are.

The truth is Kramer and Sprenger's ideas were not widely accepted even during their time. Although they were Catholic monks, their views were not the views of the Chur
An immensely disturbing read for more reasons that I can't explain in a remotely brief sense. (It is a litany of horror blaming women for basically everything wrong in society since the "first ancestors," Adam and Eve; Eve, of course, also being the origin of the first sin and fall). Mackay's translation is excellent, and the extensive footnotes explaining context, content, and source materials were invaluable in trying to make sense of this text.

This is a history the church has been strugglin
This is the most evil text ever written, a title I had previously reserved for Mien Kampf. It's entire inception was evil, everything in the book itself was evil and may the authors of it be punished for all eternity
Feb 23, 2008 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children under 7.
Oh, come on, sing it with me. (to the tune of Animaniacs.)

We're Kramer
And Sprenger.
We're here to point a finger..........
Apr 28, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across a copy of this in a bookshop for 1.50. The copy had some lovely illustrations in it.

The book itself is pretty crazy, just how many women were tortured and killed because of this book beggars belief. I think it was Pope Innocent who commissioned this book and whilst reading it you can really get a sense of their fear of women.

A very dark and disturbing book which is a must read as it is part of our history... it was a few years ago I read it so I may have to do a re-read.
Oct 09, 2011 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it's difficult to rate this because it's a primary source. I read the Summers edition, the translation is apparently ok, the translator's notes are simply bonkers and best avoided. as for the text itself: it's both nauseating and dull and you probably shouldn't bother to read it unless you have a specific interest in fifteenth century European ecclesiastical jurisprudence, in which case you should definitely read it.
Julia Roslyakova
Виноваты все.
Feb 17, 2016 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Such a quotable book tbh. So glad this was preserved for posterity. It's essentially some priest nattering on about how women like cats and sex too much, and how they steal men's dicks and pride and dignity and how to deal with them in court. It's very funny.

"There is no doubt that certain witches can do marvellous things with regard to male organs" (I'm sure they can. *Wiggles eyebrows suggestively*)

A priest, talking about how a man's ex-girlfriend stole his penis: "I saw nothing on the young m
Bryn Donovan
Aug 19, 2014 Bryn Donovan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This was first published in 1486. I bought my edition in a metaphysical shop and the pages smelled pleasantly of incense, a strong contrast to the content. This is maybe the most hateful and delusional text I've ever read. I knew it would be bad, but wow.

The intro to the 1948 version has a lot of interesting extra history about accusations of witchcraft. Persecution of witches began as early as 200 AD, with lots of supposed witches sold into slavery or executed.

The intro to the 1928 edition is c
Oct 22, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning
***Please note I chose note to rate this, as a primary text. It's writings are incredibly valuable in telling the story of tens of thousands of wine , and just in understanding the danger of fear and ignorance. I recommend it to anyone studying or interested in witchcraft trials.

This is a text written to guide in the identification and prosecution of witches in Europe. It's very dark and misogynistic reading. I was fascinated at it's existence, especially that it's one of many.

A "bad reputation
Jul 29, 2007 Sandy added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially women
What is written is unconscionable, but the impact of reading this has lasted for years. How do I rate that? Historically interesting, a human rights travesty that's hard to wrap your head around, and an important tool to overcome ignorance. What the review below fails to mention is that some studies estimate that up to 2 million women were killed during the European witch hunts thanks largely to this book.

"The Notorious Handbook Once Used to Condemn and Punish "Witches", by Heinrich Kramer and J
Apr 07, 2008 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It is strange to give this book five stars because it is not really the kind of book you like or dislike; it is a primary source and it is very, very scary in terms of what it has to say about women, about what the church once believed--and what it implies about where some of what the church believes today comes from--and especially when you consider that the guy who edited the English-language version really believed in witchcraft. Nonetheless, I have given it five stars because, as a primary s ...more
jose coimbra
O Malleus Maleficarum foi escrito por volta de 1486 pelos monges dominicanos Heinrich Kraemer (também conhecido por Heinrich Insitoris) e James Sprenger, sendo o primeiro o autor principal. Trata-se de publicação que foi um marco para a Inquisição quanto à identificação e perseguição às feiticeiras, tendo elevando a mulher à categoria de alvo preferencial das práticas demoníacas, catalisando entendimentos que já eram correntes no período.

Em linhas gerais o livro é dividido em três partes: identi
Shannon Padden
I found this to be a very valuable historical book. If you want to understand what was driving people to make the crazy as* choice they made during the Salem Witch Trials and you're curious about the power that the church had over people during that time you need to read this. It was enlightening.
Gary Bonn
Utterly terrifying for two reasons. First, that people can be killed for crimes that simply can't be committed, and secondly, for the immersion into a world where Heaven was literally above our heads, hell beneath our feet and we lived in a world of demons, angels and magic.
Feb 23, 2009 Walt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Fun reading for those who hate women. The authors of this 14th Century work were Dominican friars who caused considerable anxiety wherever they ventured in their search for witches, or single women.
Jan 16, 2008 Faith-Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must-read. It's terrifying to contemplate what actually was happening during the witch hunts. It's very important for people to read this work & learn from it.
Michael Lawrie
I have found this book very interesting on multiple levels, but the lesson I took away from it was this: Beware religious books and those without doubt.
Thiago Braun
Sei nem o que dizer desse livro, nem sei se ele deve ser avaliado. É mais um documento histórico que qualquer coisa. Não dá pra dizer que é "bom".

Quando eu era mais novo, lá pelos meus 14-15 anos, fiquei totalmente chocado pelo seu conteúdo e até hoje consigo relembrar fragmentos de instrumentos de tortura. Lembro que a Iron Maiden era mais para assustar do que usada para execução (Se pensarmos bem sobre o funcionamento de uma Iron Maiden, ela não parece funcionar muito bem. Pregos/Espigões em p

I only read this for some university work and only read what I needed to and I dont plan of reading the whole thing anytime soon.
Aug 20, 2014 Johanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is infamous on so many levels I find it hard to give a proper review of it. If you are interested in European history, the witch trials, inquisition or just history in general - and if you like non-fiction original works - this might be something of interest.

I won't say that this was easy reading. Not at all. I found it dreary and dry, but I believe it might be partly religious and partly historical writing practice.

This book is divided into three parts; (1) What witches are and whethe
Mar 29, 2015 Drew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This was an impulse buy of a fine binding (Folio Society) with a local connection (Baltimore librarian and collector) based on a translation by Montague Summers, who wrote the Gothic Bibliography I consult regularly. I can't say this purchase was really worth it, but I'm glad to have read it.

The editor of the series, Pennethorne Hughes, attempts to whitewash the Catholic Church's action in murdering "witches", predominately women. He says that while maybe many of the women killed were not witch
Nacho Gamboa
Apr 16, 2014 Nacho Gamboa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
La única reacción a este libro es: La iglesia medieval da asco. Es increíble que un libro escrito por dos candidatos a ocupantes en celdas de máxima seguridad en un manicomio hayan escrito uno de los textos más importantes del catolicismo en el medioevo.
Es indiscutiblemente el libro más enfermo que he leído, sobre todo en partes como esta: "En épocas doradas, los hechiceros habrían sido lanzados a las bestias salvajes para ser devorados, ahora sin embargo, sólo se les quema en la hoguera."
Los i
Linda Munro
A Treatise concerning heresy and witchcraft. This is one of many historical accounts of how religious ferver leans towards demonic control by organized religion.

While I have not researched whether or not Kramer was authorized by the church to write this treatise; I am familiar enough with the mindset of an unscientific community looking to place the blame for everything from draight to disease on the devil or witches.

This book takes a step beyond what one would expect to read concerning the sp

Werk des Dominikaners Heinrich Kramer aus dem 15. Jahrhundert zur Legitimation der Hexenverfolgung; Sollte v.a. Kramers inquisitorische Tätigkeit rechtfertigen, nachdem er in Folge einer Untersuchung seiner Arbeit vom Bischof ausgemeindet wurde; Es erschien bis ins 17. Jahrhundert hinein in 29 Auflagen und erreichte (auch durch gefälschte Approbationen) Bedeutung für weltliche Richter. 864 Seiten

Der erste Teil des Buchs ist ein Kommentar
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Heinrich Kramer also known under the Latinized name Henricus Institoris, was a German churchman and inquisitor. Born in Sélestat, Alsace, he joined the Dominican Order at an early age and while still a young man was appointed Prior of the Dominican house of his native town.
At some date before 1474 he was appointed Inquisitor for the Tyrol, Salzburg, Bohemia and Moravia. His eloquence in the pulpit
More about Heinrich Kramer...

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“But devils are subservient to certain influences of the stars, because magicians observe the course of certain stars in order to evoke the devils.” 0 likes
“Besides, since impotency in this act is sometimes due to coldness of nature, or some natural defect, it is asked how it is possible to distinguish whether it is due to witchcraft of not. Hostiensis gives the answer in his Summa (but this must not be publicly preached): When the member is in no way stirred, and can never perform the act of coition, this is a sign of frigidity of nature; but when it is stirred and becomes erect, but yet cannot perform, it is a sign of witchcraft.” 0 likes
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