The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe

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    IGNOU M.Com Study Material, IGNOU Books, Free Download Second Edition, Brian Levack has revised his text to take account of scholarship sinceThe notes and references have been greatly expanded, The Witch-Hunt ePUB ´ and the entire text reset."/>
  • Paperback
  • 312
  • The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe
  • Brian P. Levack
  • English
  • 06 December 2019
  • 058208069X

About the Author: Brian P. Levack

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The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern EuropeThe Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe PDF/EPUB ¹ witch hunt mobile, early pdf, modern mobile, europe free, The Witch-Hunt kindle, in Early ebok, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern EuropeWitch-Hunt in Early book, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe PDFThis famous book focuses on in Early PDF Ì the great age of witch hunting in Europe and colonial America betweenandIt examines why the witch trials took place how many trials and victims there were, and where why their incidence was so uneven in Europe who accused whom and why witch hunting eventually petered out In the process it illuminates the social, economic and political history of early modern Europe, and in particular the position of women within it For this Second Edition, Brian Levack has revised his text to take account of scholarship sinceThe notes and references have been greatly expanded, The Witch-Hunt ePUB ´ and the entire text reset.

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10 thoughts on “The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe

  1. Katie says:

    This is a nice sober recounting of a subject that s often pretty sensationalist Levack argues that the two long term causes of the rise of witchcraft accusations in the 16th and 17th century were the prominence of the devil in witchcraft accusations and the involvement of local, secular courts in prosecutions The concept of witchcraft was very old, but in the past it had usually centered on the concept of maleficia doing harm, usually to a neighbor This was always frowned upon, but things This is a nice sober recounting of a subject that s often pretty sensationalist Levack argues that the two long term causes of the rise of witchcraft accusations in the 16th and 17th century were the prominence of the devil in witchcraft accusations and the involvement of local, secular courts in prosecutions The concept of witchcraft was very old, but in the past it had usually centered on the concept of maleficia doing harm, usually to a neighbor This was always frowned upon, but things were taken to a new height when the emphasis shifted to the diabolical aspect of witchcraft which likely had trickled down from the medieval court magicians, who claimed to be able to command demons for the sake of good This made everything quite a bit uglier, primarily because it transformed witchcraft from a crime to an act of heresy This allowed for the local secular court to step in Interestingly, secular courts were nearly always stricter in witchcraft persecutions than ecclesiastical ones Regions where justice was decentralized particularly the Holy Roman Empire and Scotland saw the worst bursts of violence and accusations, while areas of centralized ecclesiastical justice like Spain saw very few The Spanish Inquisition is not known as a bastion of tolerance, but if you were accused of being a witch it was probably one of the best places to be tried Levack also suggests that the Reformation didn t cause witch hunt witch trials were going on 100 years before the 95 Theses but it probably did intensify and quicken its spread by its promotion of biblical literalism and condemnation of superstition In the end, he argues that despite all of these overarching causes, most persecutions were local and were caused by local events They eventually petered out as it became increasingly clear that many accusations were entirely specious and as ecclesiastical authors and jurists promoted heavy skepticism about the reality of or the ability to identify witchcraft It s a relatively dry book, and if you re looking for a lot of exciting and salacious witchcraft stories there are better places to go But if you want a balanced, sober account of things, this is a great intro

  2. Margarita Morris says:

    This book is detailed and rigorous in its approach and superbly argued Levack explains the European witch hunt in clear terms and gives pause for thought as to how popular superstitions, when combined with erroneous intellectual beliefs, a dubious judicial system, religious fundamentalism and economic and social unrest, can lead to the persecution and killing of those members of society who, for whatever reason, are regarded as subversive or simply as different and are therefore treated as scap This book is detailed and rigorous in its approach and superbly argued Levack explains the European witch hunt in clear terms and gives pause for thought as to how popular superstitions, when combined with erroneous intellectual beliefs, a dubious judicial system, religious fundamentalism and economic and social unrest, can lead to the persecution and killing of those members of society who, for whatever reason, are regarded as subversive or simply as different and are therefore treated as scapegoats

  3. Ely says:

    Very informative and well written, and kind of surprisingly engaging and easy to follow I thought I knew a decent amount about witch history already, but this taught me a lot of things I d never heard of.

  4. Peter Bradley says:

    The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe 4th Ed by Brian P LevackPlease give myreview a helpful vote is a must read for anyone who wants to be informed on the issue of historical witches, historical witchcraft or the historical witch craze Author Brian P Levack exhaustively marshals the data and sources and provides a coherent explanation for the phenomenon that gripped Europe between approximately 1500 and 1700.Not surprisingly, Leva The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe 4th Ed by Brian P LevackPlease give myreview a helpful vote is a must read for anyone who wants to be informed on the issue of historical witches, historical witchcraft or the historical witch craze Author Brian P Levack exhaustively marshals the data and sources and provides a coherent explanation for the phenomenon that gripped Europe between approximately 1500 and 1700.Not surprisingly, Levack punctures a few myths For example, it is not the case that millions of witches were burned during the Burning Times On a European wide basis for the approximate two hundred years of the witch hunt, perhaps 45,000 were executed, either by hanging or burning Further, while the majority of witches were women, a substantial minority approximately 25% were men In some regions, the majority of executed witches men Another myth that goes down the tube is the notion that the witch hunt was a Protestant phenomenon, or, alternatively, that it was a product of the religious institutions of Europe In fact, witch hunts affected both Protestant and Catholic territories and were almost exclusively under the control of the rising European states For all that, witch hunts could be impressively destructive Levack offers the example of communities where all but one or two women were left alive after their witch craze had burned out.Levack s view is that the European witch hunt would not have occurred with the intellectual development of a diabolical model of witchcraft Europeans had long known about maleficia, witchcraft involving curses to cause injury However, in Early Modern Europe, European intellectuals began to incorporate ideas that these witches were involved with Satan, that they were making pacts with Satan, and that they were congregating en masse with Satan at witches Sabbaths This was a potent combination that could lead to paranoia about infiltration by the forces of Satan Add to this mix, the religious foment of the period and the secular ambition to create Godly Societies, both Catholic and Protestant, and the urge to ferret out Satanic collaborators could overflow into a witch hunt under circumstances of stress.Stress might come from the guilt of not being able to avoid sin or in not providing charity to those in need as social s changed Levack observes Support for witchcraft trials provided a means by which the members of European communities could acquire confidence in their own moral sanctity and ultimate salvation p 150 This looks a lot like the function of twitter mobbing in the modern era Stress could also arise from famines or the death of children, but not generally from wars, which tended to preoccupy people from engaging in witch hunts.Levack proves his argument with examinations of the areas where witch hunts occurred Where the full panoply of diabolical ideas was not present Ireland, Spain, Russia witch hunts were smaller or infrequent.Torture was another factor in spreading the witch hunt In theory, torture was limited, but in practice, in secular courts, the limitations were ignored The result was that there would be chain reactions of accusations, which often resulted in accusations against the hunters themselves.Interestingly, the limits on torture were respected in ecclesiastical courts, such as the Inquisition Levack writes Another reason for the relative tameness of witchcraft prosecutions in Italy, Spain and Portugal was the adherence of the Inquisition in each country to fairly strict procedural rules In the Middle Ages papa inquisitors had become notorious for their unrestrained use of torture and the many other ways in which they had prejudiced the case against the accused By the time the European witch hunt began, however, inquisitors had produced a large body of cautionary literature, and two of the early modern institutions that succeeded the medieval inquisition the Spanish and the Roman inquisitions demonstrated exceptional concern for procedural propriety Indeed, the Roman Inquisition has been referred to as a pioneer in judicial reform Unlike many secular courts, it made provision for legal counsel it furnished the defendant with a copy of the charges and evidence against him and it assigned very little weight to the testimony of a suspected witch against her confederates One of the most noteworthy features of both Spanish and Roman inquisitorial procedure is that torture was rarely employed In Spain it was used only when there was strong circumstantial evidence but no proof, and it was applied towards the end of the trial, just before judgment was pronounced Even in the great Basque witch hunt of 1609 1611, which involved thousands of suspects, the Inquisition tortured only two of the accused, and since the torture allowed their sentences to be commuted from death to banishment, it can be legitimately considered an act of mercy The only pressure to use torture as a deliberate means to extract confessions came from local secular authorities and local mobs, groups whose extra legal tactics the Inquisition sought to restrain Even the benandanti, the members of an ancient fertility cult in Friuli whom the Inquisition gradually convinced they were witches, were never put to torture p 219 So, add that to the list of busted myths.Levack also explains why women were largely the victims of witch hunts were women It had nothing to do with male power dynamics or ancient mother goddess religions, but, rather, it had to do with the fact that women worked in dangerous professions where they were involved in child care Children often died in this era and mothers had understandable anxieties about the care of their children The death of children was often a trigger that fed on years of gossip and suspicion Levack points out that the Satanic child abuse panic of the 1980s was likewise focused on child care workers.Levack argues that the era of the witch hunt ended in part because of its success So many were swept up, including elites, that the elites could no longer believe that all the accused were guilty Central state control over prosecutions and executions took over, limiting or eliminating executions and eliminating the use of torture Skepticism about confessions and the kinds of evidence, including spectral evidence and the testimony of children, also added to the decline Finally, Europe developed askeptical attitude about whether any particular misfortune was actually supernatural and whether these marginal members of society really were the kind of people that the Prince of Hell would enroll in his grand plan for subversion.This book is not a casual read It is a textbook Nonetheless for students of history, it should make a captivating read

  5. Joel Mitchell says:

    There is no lack of books about the shameful era of witch hunting most intense from 1450 1750 Most authors have their own pet theory of the main cause of the travesty personal revenge, misogyny, the Protestants, the Catholics, religious intolerance in general, societal changes, political maneuvering, mass hysteria, etc Brian Levack rejects the idea of a monolithic witch hunt driven by one or two all explaining reasons Instead, he interacts with a wide range of primary source data and sc There is no lack of books about the shameful era of witch hunting most intense from 1450 1750 Most authors have their own pet theory of the main cause of the travesty personal revenge, misogyny, the Protestants, the Catholics, religious intolerance in general, societal changes, political maneuvering, mass hysteria, etc Brian Levack rejects the idea of a monolithic witch hunt driven by one or two all explaining reasons Instead, he interacts with a wide range of primary source data and scholarly views regarding the rise, continuation, and decline of witch hunting and argues that certain aspects of most of these views are applicable to varying degrees depending on the location, size, and time of individual witch hunts Whether or not all of his surmises are accurate, I appreciated the relative objectivity and complexity of his approach.One of his main themes that I found particularly interesting was his distinction between maleficia trying to cause harm through magic and diabolism the worship of the devilespecially in an organized, collective witches Sabbath fashion He does not go into whether magic actually works or the devil actually exists, but offers analysis on whether there were people that actually attempted to practiced either or both of these supposed witches were generally accused of both He argues that the practice of maleficia certainly existed to some extent, but that organized, collective diabolism was almost entirely a figment of Medieval Christian imagination He regards this belief in diabolism as an important precondition for witch hunts accelerating from the occasional burning of a disliked old woman to the wide scale state sponsored panics that consumed hundreds of victims It reminded me a lot of the weird Satanic Ritual Abuse panic from the 80 s and 90 s the reason a whole generation of Conservative Evangelical kids weren t allowed to go trick or treatingthough I suppose that s better than thousands of people being executed.I felt like the author occasionally mischaracterized Christian especially Reformed doctrinal development and beliefs, but overall the book was well research and thoughtfully argued a must read if you are interested in this topic

  6. Olivia says:

    Humorous, informative, and well crafted The arguments and lines of logic are easy to follow and in depth I enjoyed the time taken to go over not only established thoughts on the hunts, and the logic behind those thoughts, but the outliers and the trials that go against trend The newer editions have an additional chapter going over the modern applications of the term witch hunt so I recommend them in particular

  7. Mary Rose says:

    The man, the myth, the legend Brian P Levack is my favorite witch loving historian to read I love how he writes, he s so systematic in his treatment of a massive body of material He makes everything so clear, he points out common misconceptions and holes in our knowledge while not sacrificing the overall impression of his scholarship So pleased to finally finish this one.

  8. Aleksandra says:

    Good book to read as an introduction to the topic, and it has a very helpful bibliography for research

  9. A.J. Jr. says:

    A good history and analysis of the witch hunts that took place in early modern Europe.

  10. Jesse says:

    Well written overview of some of the causes of the great European Witch Hunt Levack s narrative is easy to follow and easily digestible for both scholars and laypeople alike.