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Lecture 15

Lecture 15 Nov 11.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS389H1
Professor
Jane Abray
Semester
Fall

Description
November 11, 2010 CHAIN TRIALS/ GENDER CHAIN TRIALS Levack pg. 138 - Prince Bishoprics of Trier, Wurzburg and Bamberg- sits of large hunts by any definition o All took place in these peculiar German territories called prince bishoprics which were generally pretty lethal places, certainly true of the three we talk about o There was a lack of control over torture, act of desire to torture as much as possible to get as many names as possible… thus identify more names via torturing - Ecclesiastic ruler (Bishop or Archbishop) is also secular ruler (Prince) – or vice versa, ecclesiastical side you have bishops or archbishops who are also secular territorial rulers of large states - Territories named after cathedral bishop is appointed - In these territories the secular and Church institutions are very fused (in these bishoprics)- strong influence from Jesuit order, Jesuits are very active in counter Reformation mission of whatever wipes out Lutherans- bringing in policies from council of Trent, dealing with enemies of Church (Jews, heretics) - These 3 territories- the trials in these areas unsettle the elites of Europe, make them uneasy about whether or not the witch hunt is properly conducted or going off the rails… Trier 1581-1587-1593 - Johann VI von Schonenberg, archbishop from 1581, formerly provost of the Cathedral and Governor of the city of Trier o Been in the city a long time, older, physically ill and in a lot of pain, devoted to advancing the causes of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, convert Protestants back to Catholicism – force - Peter Binsfeld, SJ, his vicar, On the Confessions of Evil Men and Female Witches- demonologist- helped further huge hunt in Trier - Hunt began outside city in rural villages – 6 years before it reached inside city of Trier itself… these were the most violent in Germny history 1587-1593 claimed 369 victims - In two villages, when the hunts were over only a single woman was left a live, all the rest were dead! - Canon Johann Linden, “Chronicle of the Deeds of the Men of Trier” – wrote a chronicle, evidence, firsthand account, describes episode he lived through himself, gives some insight into what it set off: he blames two things: 1) succession of bad harvests led peasants and townspeople to decide there must be witchcraft for crops to be failing like this 2) the greed of the authorities who thought they could profit by confiscating property of alleged witches o He was convinced money was behind the hunts o Does not confine to burning women – these hunts (Trier) - Dietrich Flade, chief judge of the civil court, vice-governor of the city, vice-rector of the University o Would not be expected to be convicted of witchcraft o Flade was involved in archbishop business, involved in forcible conversion of Protestants, etc. o Trier: has civil and religious courts, he was chief justice of civil court o Very prominent figure – presided over come trials o Odd objection to witch trials- but does want to abide by rules of Carolina but he seemed to become troubled by the use of tortured confessions to produce an ever expanding list of subjects o Reluctant to bring trials when only evidence is confession under torture which gets him into trouble because people think he is “soft” - Johann Zandt, Governor- organized many denunciations of Flade seen at sabbath – denunciations from confessions of torture - Flade forgiven for slow accusations- saw what was going to happen, flee city, tried to escape, he was caught, brought back to city, put under house arrest - Peter Binsfeld takes this as a famous proof of guilt –needed for arrest and torture- archbishop tries to get university and court to agree but his colleagues don’t want them involved and want to stand by him - But Flade confesses as a result of torture- admitted to having sex with devil etc. but was not enough, eventually admitted to trying to kill archbishop – strangulation Flade- highest ranked person ever killed for witchcraft in Germany! - Cornelius Loos, theologian, “On True and False Witchcraft” o This man was a trained theologian and held a university appointment o Failing discomfort with judicial methods o Influenced by arguments in johann briars book – silly old women should not be tortured o Looks wrote private letters to government officials saying they were on the wrong track o He makes the decision to write a book which he thought would set people straight “on true and false witchcraft” – he does not deny there is true witchcraft but says there is true and false, and you can get into trouble with people accused who are not witches at all o Book sent to printers in cologne- argued devils do not take on physical bodies, use of torture was taking innocent lives and causing innocent lives taken in in a cruel butchery – picked away at malleus, attacked the first edition of Binsfeld’s book – o Cornelius ordered arrest, detention in monastery in Trier, difficult conditions, Binsfeld produces a confession for him to sign, public event in which Loos on his knees repeats confession, publicly shamed, admits he had been wrong, created a scandal, arguments in treason, says witchcraft is real, witches really go in their bodies to the Sabbaths, the devil really does assume a body, intercourse with humans, witches do commit weather magic (because of bad harvest) o Loos – swear oath that what had been done to him had been done rightly done, authorities in Trier were just and good… after he was allowed to leave town o Second edition of Binsfeld book to make sure people know about this issue o Del Rio- Binsfeld’s friend- mentions Loos’ trial o Arrested and let loose o First catholic priest to speak out publicly about witch-hunts! Wurzberg 1626-31 and Bamberg 1626-31 – cooperate, structured by two cousins - Set up these commissions, cause havoc: Malefizkommission, Commission on Maleficia - Wolfgang Behringer, “The Franconian persecutions realized the sombre dream of unconditional persecution, of persecution without regard for political, social or humanitarian obstacles, but only for the logic of the persecutions themselves. Numerous new tortures were devised…(and) there was no longer any taboo to prevent the “social” expansion of the trials into the upper classes.” Witchcraft Persecutions in Bavaria: Popular Magic, Religious Zealotry and Reason of State in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1997) p. 228-9 - Wurzberg – hunt aimed very high- first 29 burnings the victims included nobles, church officials, wives of members of town council, get into secular and ecclesiastical quarries of town - You get a continued belief of rightness of what authorities are doing - Bamberg- government people accused - Wurzberg- trials do not produce immediate scepticism - Chancellor of Wurzberg- letter found – accused includes clerics, city officials, law students, pastors in training, dean arrested, notary of church arrested, third part of the city involved… many put in death for renouncing god and being in witch dances at Sabbaths - - Prince Bishop Phillip Adolf von Ehrenburg- responsible, saw over burning of 900 people for witchcraft, true believer like chancellor, not everyone in Wurzberg believed though - Friedrich Spee- professor, wrote warning for those dealing with criminal justice - Protestant Swedish armies arrived which concentrated peoples minds on other issues - And death of Phillip Adolf - 900 people in 8 years Bamberg -Gottfried Johann Georg II Fuchs von Dornheim (cousin of Phillip) Bishop of Bamberg- outdoes Johann with assistance (his predecessor Johann Gottfired von Aschenhausen- had seen 300 burned in a decade) - Friedrich Forner, the Bishop’s deputy - Death toll in Bamberg is close to 1000 people in 5-6 years - Territory driven by confessions, people on edge because of horrors of 30 years’ war and succession of bad harvests. - As in Trier there is a trained lawyer – vice chancellor Dr. Georg Haan, stickler for due-process, conduct trials by proper methods, Carolina (must abide by)- sympathizer and burned in 1628 along with wife and daughter- defiance of explicit order from Holy Roman Empire - Justus Junius, Burgomaster – prominent figure, one of five burgomasters – most often citied story – arrested based on denunciation from colleague – Haan - Junius tortured, brother in law among those who torture him, stole hosts for devil, will not confess to harming own children, condemned to death, like Rebecca Lemp smuggles a message out to daughter Veronica – tried to discharge conscience for guilt of condemning others and sin of perjury- money as a motive - Many flee Bamberg - Regensburg- some people flee here and prince bishop ignores complaints, built elaborate prisons, authorized many inventive means of torture - Wilheml Lamormaini- tells Emperor that what prominent men think is ridiculous , SJ; Heinrich Turck, S.J – said people felt sympathy for some - Emperor Ferdinand - Advancing Swedish army- death of prince bishop- other things on mind = what ends hunts - Last 10 priso
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