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Theology and popular belief

The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the best-known treatises dealing with the problem of what to do with witches. Written in 1487 by a Dominican inquisitor, Heinrich Institoris, following his failure to prosecute a number of women for witchcraft, it is in many ways a highly personal document, full of frustration at official complacency in the face of a spiritual threat, as well as being a practical guide for law-officers who have to deal with a cunning, dangerous enemy. Combining theological discussion, illustrative anecdotes and useful advice for those involved in suppressing witchcraft, the treatise's influence on witchcraft studies has been extensive. The only previous translation into English, that by Montague Summers in 1928, is full of inaccuracies. It is written in a style almost unreadable nowadays, and is unfortunately coloured by Institoris's personal agenda. This new edited translation, with an introductory essay setting witchcraft, Institoris and the Malleus into clear English, corrects Summers' mistakes and offers an unvarnished version of what Institoris actually wrote. It will undoubtedly become the standard translation of this controversial late medieval text.

Open Access (free)
Demonological descriptions of male witches
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

witches are described in many tracts. It is only by deciding, a priori, that male witches are insignificant that one could treat early modern demonology as sex-specific. Texts When we ‘discovered’ that Heinrich Institoris and Jacob Sprenger referred to witches in both masculine and feminine terms, one of our first questions concerned the relative frequency of the masculine usage. Just

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

Inquisitors Heinrich Institoris (Kramer, Krämer) and Jacob Sprenger, 6 believed that all witches were female. In Latin, groups containing both males and females conventionally are represented by the masculine plural, even if there are more females than males in the group. The feminine plural implies an absence of males from a group; therefore, the use of the feminine in the title Malleus maleficarum suggests that all witches are

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
Hans Peter Broedel

man’s relationship with God and with the devil, and about witchcraft and witches, assumptions we shall now examine. Notes 1 For biographical accounts of Institoris and Sprenger, see Peter Segl, “Heinrich Institoris: Persönlichkeit und literarisches Werk,” in Peter Segl, ed., Der Hexenhammer (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 1988), 103–26; Joseph Hansen, ed., Quellen und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Hexenwahns und der Hexenverfolgung im Mittelalter (reprint, Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1963), 360–407; Joseph Hansen, Zauberwahn, Inquisition und

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
Open Access (free)
Contested categories
Hans Peter Broedel

survive in Brixen’s episcopal archives; they have been partially edited by Hartmann Ammann, “Der Innsbrucker Hexenprocess von 1485,” Zeitschrift des Ferdinandeums für Tirol und Vorarlberg 34 (1890): 1–87. See also Eric Wilson, “Institoris at Innsbruck: Heinrich Institoris, the Summis Desiderantes and the Brixen Witch-Trial of 1485,” in R.W. Scribner and Trevor Johnson, eds., Popular Religion in Germany and Central Europe, 1400–1800 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996): 87–100. 2 “Pfie dich, du sneder minch, daz dich das fallend übel etc.” Ammann, “Innsbrucker

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
Open Access (free)
Hans Peter Broedel

ludibriis.” See also Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, pt. 1, qu. 63, art. 2. 22 Hans Peter Duerr, Dreamtime, trans. Felicitas Goodman (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), 5. 23 For dates and biography of Felix of Hemmerlin (known in Latin as Felix Malleolus), see Hansen, Quellen, 109. 24 “Nam dicti Principes non proposuerunt deum ante conspectum suum sed inter se diviserunt regni terminos terrarum ante Triumphum.” Felix Hemmerlin, Tractatus de Credulitate Daemonibus Adhibenda, in Heinrich Institoris and Jacob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum (Frankfurt, 1600), 2:431. 25 Felix

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
Eric Pudney

abbot who was visited by an angel, and ‘after that (forsooth) was as chaste as though he had had never a stone in his breech’, Scot’s derisive, bracketed ‘forsooth’ and clever punning ridicule the story simply by telling it.48 Proponents of witchcraft, in their texts, prefer to keep things as serious as possible. Scot, while making disingenuous apologies for the filthiness of the stories he is sadly 46 Scot, iv.5, p. 79. 47 Scot, iv.4, pp. 77–78; Heinrich Institoris and Jakob Sprenger, The Hammer of Witches, translated by Christopher S. Mackay (Cambridge: Cambridge

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681