9 Beyond the witch trials Counter-witchcraft and popular magic The archaeology of counter-witchcraft and popular magic Brian Hoggard One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. Objects such as witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, shoes, written charms and numerous other items have been discovered concealed inside houses in significant quantities from the early modern period until well into the twentieth century. The locations

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Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe

This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.

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Popular magic in modern Europe

The study of witchcraft accusations in Europe during the period after the end of the witch trials is still in its infancy. Witches were scratched in England, swum in Germany, beaten in the Netherlands and shot in France. The continued widespread belief in witchcraft and magic in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France has received considerable academic attention. The book discusses the extent and nature of witchcraft accusations in the period and provides a general survey of the published work on the subject for an English audience. It explores the presence of magical elements in everyday life during the modern period in Spain. The book provides a general overview of vernacular magical beliefs and practices in Italy from the time of unification to the present, with particular attention to how these traditions have been studied. By functioning as mechanisms of social ethos and control, narratives of magical harm were assured a place at the very heart of rural Finnish social dynamics into the twentieth century. The book draws upon over 300 narratives recorded in rural Finland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that provide information concerning the social relations, tensions and strategies that framed sorcery and the counter-magic employed against it. It is concerned with a special form of witchcraft that is practised only amongst Hungarians living in Transylvania.

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Beyond the witch trials

clear in the article by Raisa Toivo. She shows how the secular and religious authorities in Finland, at the time under Swedish rule, proactively turned the focus of prosecutions under general laws for witchcraft and ‘popularmagic firmly in the direction of the latter. While popular concern remained focused on harmful witchcraft, the pattern of prosecutions during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries show a determined shift towards authoritarian rather than popular preoccupations. Increasingly it was the authorities rather than the general population

in Beyond the witch trials

. Yet at the same time, as already mentioned, there was an increase of court cases against superstition in Swedish secular courts. It should be noted, though, that the Church seems to have stopped 74 Beyond the witch trials dealing with similar cases during the early eighteenth century, probably as a result of changes regarding the areas of responsibility of secular and Church courts.49 The peak of the trials concerning popular magic came in the middle of the eighteenth century, and although little research has been done they probably continued a while into the

in Beyond the witch trials

market for mass-produced literature on magic and the occult had been established, and in the following century this 188 Beyond the witch trials literature attracted popular attention and notoriety in a number of European countries.4 One can see this period as giving birth to a new culture of popular magic. It was not an oral culture but a literary culture that fostered it; not the simple peasant but the publisher, the printer and the reader who cradled it; not the rural but the urban population which initially absorbed it.5 This literary occultism was a thoroughly

in Beyond the witch trials

. Notes 1 Briggs, Witches and Neighbors , 263. 2 Sources for table 1: Monter, Witchcraft in France and Switzerland , 119, table 7; Gabor Klaniczay, ‘Hungary: The accusations and the universe of popular magic’, Centres and Peripheries , 219–255: 222, table 8.1; Calendar of Assize Records

in Male witches in early modern Europe
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Agency and selfhood at stake

’ episodes of witch-hunting, thereby bracketing out most accusations involving ‘minor’ witchcraft, popular magic, healing spells, potions and the like. 3 The scholar of early modern witchcraft faces a number of difficult methodological and epistemological problems,most of which stem from the ‘impossible’ nature of witchcraft itself. The problem of how to read and assess ‘non-factual’ witchcraft materials

in Male witches in early modern Europe
medical pluralism and the search for hegemony

19 (1994) 285–303; Owen Davies, Cunning-Folk: Popular Magic in English History (London, 2003); idem, ‘Cunning-Folk in the Medical Market-Place During the Nineteenth Century’, Medical History 43 (1999) 55–73; idem, Witchcraft, pp. 214–70. 26 Enrique Salcedo y Ginestal, Madre e Hijo . Doctrina científica y errores vulgares en

in Witchcraft Continued
witchcraft on the borderline of religion and magic

persecution and early modern witchcraft see Gábor Klaniczay, ‘Hungary: The Accusations and the Universe of Popular Magic’, in Bengt Ankarloo and Gustav Henningsen (eds), Early Modern European Witchcraft , Centres and Peripheries (Oxford, 1990), pp. 219–55; Klaniczay, ‘La chasse aux sorcières en Europe Centrale et Orientale’, in Robert Muchembled (ed.), Magie et sorcellerie en Europe du Moyen Age à nos

in Witchcraft Continued