HIS389H1F--- Lecture 1 September 14, 2010
Witch-Hunts in Early Modern Europe
1400-1700 Early Modern Europe
- Complicated and hard to understand- takes place over such a long period of time
- Early 1400’s – 1700’s (time period looked at)
- Complicated because of length of time, wide geographic range they cover. All separate territories
(hundreds) have their own law codes and procedures and in each district the rules of how you
deal with witches will be different. Therefore it is hard to compare what has happened in different
- Religious upheavals following Reformations, long series of civil and international wars (1618-
- Witch-hunts involve us in perplexing issues of psychology and motivation. It is puzzling to work
out how so many people of such different levels of education could come up with fairly agreed
upon definitions of a witch.
- Why did the hunts stop? Why do people stop believing? Why do we associate it with Halloween
- Published articles – blackboard
- Multi-disciplinary approaches—it takes a strong stomach to read sources of witchcraft- criminal
trials involve subjecting people to jail, torture, and social stigma.
- Intellectual curiosity – What is true about witchcraft?