EUROPEAN WITCHCRAFT RISE IN PROSECUTIONS, c. 1560-1660 Witch hunt/craze? Esp. S.W. Germany (10-20% total) Most involve isolated trials and executions e.g. England & France Role of judges e.g. Matthew Hopkins (Essex, 1640s), Nicolas Rémy (Lorraine, C16th) Spain, Italy & Russia low-key, despite inquisition Salem (1690s) = exception in New England, only 19 died Legal system: England no torture cf Scotland, but Paris parlement lenient too. Elsewhere in France significant, + possessed convents e.g. Loudun (1620s) Only 40-50% execution rate, indicate leniency rather than panic, cf plaguespreaders in Geneva – 40% rate of conviction vs 20% for witchcraft; infanticide – Paris parlement – 70% vs 20% EXPLANATIONS 1) Religious division By-product of Reformation (Trevor-Roper), role of Devil/demonology (Clark). 2) Socio-economic disaster/crisis General vs specific, weather magic (Behringer), against nature (Roper). 3) ‘Charity’ Thomas, Macfarlane, Briggs. Refusal > tension & guilt > accusation of maleficia. Misfortune associated with related individual, wiseperson common suspect. Various remedies pursued, judges last resort. 4) Legal changes Prosecution easier. Permission to torture for heinous crime > name accomplices. 5) Popular vs elite? Role of diabolism e.g. Malleus Maleficarum c. 1486 > stereotypes e.g. sabbat. Some accepted guilt & readily confessed, = shared mental world. Tracts: Jean Bodin, Demonomanie (1580); James VI & I, Daemonologie (1597) Sceptics: Michel de Montaigne, Reginald Scot, Johann Weyer. Much overlap – maleficia & diabolism common to both. 6) Prosecution of women 80% vs 20% male (cf Russia & Normandy), yet men more likely to be executed. gender-related vs gender-specific. Roper – fit with stereotype, Clark – polarity; role as nurturers, healers etc Worsening economic & social situation for single women DECLINE IN PROSECUTION 1) Increasing scepticism/more rational? = cultural/intellectual Weyer & others in C16th + influence of early Enlightenment in C17th 2) Increasing scepticism/more doubt? = practical experience Paris parlement – 1600 vs swimming test; 1624 automatic appeal; 1640 ceased 3) Causing increasing disorder = socio-economic Counterproductive More ordered society? ANIMAL HISTORY Animal history = our history, not just for animal rights groups and environmentalists. Treatment cf traditionally oppressed/marginal groups, as too discussion of rights. Dependent on hierarchy of status, as useful contributors to human society (good/bad). Hunting vs poaching – hierarchical. Value economic, emotional and even devotional. Also whether posed threat, dangerous, destructive, demonic. Symbolic use in rituals, as portents and analogies; monsters. Role whether tamed or wild; mistreatment widespread; entertainment. Anthropomorphism – treated like humans by judiciary and church. Trials, excommunications and executions. Theologically erroneous (no souls) and judicially suspect (re criminal responsibility). Role in demonic activities: actual and symbolic; werewolves and other shapeshifters. Witches as familiars and transform into (devil too). Role/treatment much to tell us about human society/culture: preoccupations, fears.