Rothenburg, 1561–1652

Given the widespread belief in witchcraft and the existence of laws against such practices, why did witch-trials fail to gain momentum and escalate into ‘witch-crazes’ in certain parts of early modern Europe? This book answers this question by examining the rich legal records of the German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a city that experienced a very restrained pattern of witch-trials and just one execution for witchcraft between 1561 and 1652. The book explores the factors that explain the absence of a ‘witch-craze’ in Rothenburg, placing particular emphasis on the interaction of elite and popular priorities in the pursuit (and non-pursuit) of alleged witches at law. By making the witchcraft narratives told by the peasants and townspeople of Rothenburg central to its analysis, the book also explores the social and psychological conflicts that lay behind the making of accusations and confessions of witchcraft. Furthermore, it challenges the existing explanations for the gender-bias of witch-trials, and also offers insights into other areas of early modern life, such as experiences of and beliefs about communal conflict, magic, motherhood, childhood and illness. Written in a narrative style, the study invites a wide readership to share in the drama of early modern witch trials.

The Catholic challenge during the Thirty Years’ War

Catholic League, the coalition of Catholic allies under the leadership of Duke Maximilian of Bavaria. This ascendancy culminated in the promulgation by Ferdinand of the Edict of Restitution in March 1629 which, among other provisions, ordered the return to the Catholic church of all ecclesiastical properties seized by Protestants since 1552 and constituted ‘a staggering blow to German Protestantism, before which all earlier setbacks paled in comparison’.1 Margaretha Hörber’s narrative of witchcraft and the manner in which the Rothenburg council handled it proved to be

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Open Access (free)

, however, because so few historians have devoted attention to these questions since 1970. This is probably partly because it has been deemed less exciting and thus less marketable than accounts of large witch-hunts by publishers, partly because more radically feminist scholars have little interest in any work which apparently seeks to downplay the impact of witch-hunts on early modern women, and partly because cases of witchcraft that did not end in execution are harder to 2 WITCHCRAFT NARRATIVES IN GERMANY identify and tease out from early modern legal records. The

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany

This essay analyses the literature on the foibe to illustrate a political use of human remains. The foibe are the deep karstic pits in Istria and around Trieste where Yugoslavian Communist troops disposed of Italians they executed en masse during World War II. By comparing contemporary literature on the foibe to a selection of archival reports of foibe exhumation processes it will be argued that the foibe literature popular in Italy today serves a political rather than informational purpose. Counterpublic theory will be applied to examine how the recent increase in popular foibe literature brought the identity of the esuli, one of Italy‘s subaltern counterpublics, to the national stage. The paper argues that by employing the narrative structure of the Holocaust, contemporary literature on the foibe attempts to recast Italy as a counterpublic in the wider European public sphere, presenting Italy as an unrecognised victim in World War II.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

3 The Croatian historical statehood narrative In his 1998 state of the nation address, the Croatian President Franjo Tuœman noted that with the restoration of the Croatian Danube region including Vukovar ‘to our homeland’, ‘[t]he centuries-old dream of the Croatian people has thereby been completely fulfilled’.1 Similarly, the new constitution promulgated shortly after independence proclaimed ‘the millennial national identity of the Croatian nation and the continuity of its statehood, confirmed by the course of its entire historical experience in various statal

in The formation of Croatian national identity
The Marshall Plan films about Greece

case studies, such as Ireland, Austria and Italy, and an emphasis on narratives of reconstruction, productivity and national identity. 14 The case of Greece and the humanitarian narratives of the MP films at large have been underexplored so far. By concentrating on the MP films about Greece, my aim is to correlate their discourse of reconstruction with the narrative of humanitarianism and to

in Global humanitarianism and media culture

28 Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis 2 Narrative contexts for Bacon’s New Atlantis PAUL SALZMAN When Bacon wrote the New Atlantis, he clearly had More’s Utopia in mind as a model, offering a small homage to it in a comment made by the ‘good Jew’: ‘I have read in a book of one of your men, of a Feigned Commonwealth, where the married couple are permitted, before they contract, to see one another naked’.1 With great acuity, Susan Bruce has pointed out the significance of the family, and of desire, as a link between the two utopias.2 Bruce argues that in Bacon

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
Gender and contemporary fantasies of witchcraft

within her own social identity as housewife and mother’; the witch was a ‘usurper of the authority of other women over the domestic realm’ who polluted food supplies, disrupted household order and harmed children and childbearing women.5 Lyndal Roper has suggested that motherhood was a central theme of the witch-trials of seventeenth-century Augsburg. Most accused witches there were old, widowed lying-in maids who were imagined as ‘evil mothers’ who harmed rather than nurtured the parturient mothers or newborn babies in 136 WITCHCRAFT NARRATIVES IN GERMANY their

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Open Access (free)

witchcraft, both during trials and in the course of everyday social interaction. The narratives told by the child-witches of Rothenburg were thus so shocking to contemporaries and posed such a severe test of the authorities’ restrained handling of witchcraft allegations because they broke and threatened to permanently loosen the conventions that traditionally governed and constrained how people in the area spoke about witchcraft. The second factor which limited the severity and scale of witch-trials in Rothenburg was the refusal on the part of the elites to abandon normal

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Slander and speech about witchcraft

part of the same affair’.5 This indirect reference was understood by those listening to 16 WITCHCRAFT NARRATIVES IN GERMANY Lautenbach to imply that the witchcraft was the work of Barbara Brosam, on whose behalf Paulus was now acting to obtain the urine-filled container. The account Lautenbach gave of his subsequent journey to Wallhausen to retrieve his cart underlined this conclusion. He had set off alone, but Paulus had followed the tracks of his horse in the snow to the tavern at Wallhausen. There he had insisted on speaking to Lautenbach and arranging that the

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany