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The mark of the Devil: medical proof in witchcraft trials

This thesis will analyze the intersection between medical and religious beliefs in the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries to evaluate the importance placed upon medical evidence by secular and ecclesiastical courts.

The Scapegoat: Impotence and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages

This essay investigates the question of how women were used as scapegoats for male impotence during the Witch Craze.

BOOK REVIEW: Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History You Weren’t Taught in School

A review of Dominic Selwood’s, ‘Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History you Weren’t Taught in School’

Movie Review: Dangerous Beauty

Late 16th century Venice, where a woman can be a nun, a wife or a courtesan. For Veronica Franco, the free spirited girl scorned by because of her lack of wealth, the choice is an obvious one…

Witchcraft Trials In Sweden: With Neighbours Like These, Who Needs Enemies?!

Everyone has “that” neighbour on their floor, or street who they’d secretly love to move to Mars and never see again. Well, the Early Modern Swedes had a way of dealing with those kinds of nasty neighbours…

Trolls in the Middle Ages

Where did trolls come from? What did medieval and early modern people think of trolls? How did the concept of the modern day troll evolve?

Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

10 Terrifying Reads for Halloween!

Here are some spooky medieval books for you to celebrate with over Halloween!

The American Dark Ages and the Terrorist Witch in Season of the Witch

In this article we argue that medieval films are not to be analyzed according to their faithfulness to the known historical sources, but that they can only be fully analyzed by understanding medievalist codes, traditions and (filmic) intertextuality.

The Contemporary Evidence for Early Medieval Witchcraft-Beliefs

This article has two main aims. One is to bring to a wider audience a small group of early medieval texts pertinent to the history of witchcraft…

Devil Worship in the Middle Ages

Probably the most reasonable explanation of the Devil worship phenomenon at this time is a combination of both of these hypotheses. Lingering ideas of pre-Christian cults of Diana and the Homed God became entwined with the doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning evil.

Sorcery at court and manor: Margery Jourdemayne, the witch of Eye next Westminster

One of the most sensational episodes of the mid-fifteenth century was the trial for treasonable witchcraft of Eleanor, duchess of Gloucester. As the wife of a royal duke, Humphrey of Gloucester, uncle to the young Henry VI, she not only moved in the highest circles but, since the king was still unmarried, was also amongst the first ladies in the land.

Why Cats were hated in Medieval Europe

Cats in medieval Europe mostly had a bad reputation – they were associated with witches and heretics, and it was believed that the devil could transform himself into a black cat.

The Sorcery Trial of Alice Kyteler

In 1324, Richard Ledrede, bishop of Ossory, declared that his diocese was a hotbed of devil worshippers. The central figure in this affair was Alice Kyteler, a wealthy Kilkenny woman who stood accused of witchcraft by her stepchildren.

The Light was retreating before Darkness: Tales of the Witch hunt and climate change

Little by little, out of the old conviction —pagan and Christian— of evil interference in atmospheric phenomena evolved the belief that some people may use malign sorcery to set off whirlwinds hail, frosts, floods and other destructive weather events.

Myths and mandrakes

Others, however, began to wonder whether the possession of roots might not bring them success in other areas as well—wealth, popularity, or the power to control their own and other people’s destinies, and took to wearing them as good luck charms.

Anaphrodisiac Charms in the Nordic Middle Ages: Impotence, Infertility, and Magic

This essay, however, looks to explore, not this seductive form of charm magic, but rather its opposite, ie charm magic that prevents the consumption of a relationship, or that makes a fruitful union impossible.

The Beginning of Card Games

Records of card playing begin to appear in Europe about the year 1300. The cards in use in the preceding century were in the
hands of the wandering gypsies who came across the mountains of southern Europe, from whence no one knew.

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