In 1301 Walter Langton, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, was accused of using sorcery to acquire a large fortune and gain the favour of the king. His lengthy and inconclusive trial shows that accusations of witchcraft made at this time were often motivated by politics rather than fear
In 1437, theologian Johannes Nider warned about a new threat to the Christian world – witches.
It’s the spookiest season, which means it’s the perfect time to investigate medieval witches. This week, Danièle speaks with Gemma Hollman, author of Royal Witches, about some of the fifteenth century’s most high profile accusations of witchcraft.
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.
This essay investigates the question of how women were used as scapegoats for male impotence during the Witch Craze.
A review of Dominic Selwood’s, ‘Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History you Weren’t Taught in School’
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…
These tales of violence and sorcery reveal interesting interactions with renowned sorcerers in villages that had not yet become involved in the witch hunts that were beginning to break out in the mountains in eastern France
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!
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…
This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.
Here are some spooky medieval books for you to celebrate with over Halloween!
For the people of early modern Germany, the witch was not the cackling menace of fairytales or myth, but a real-life scourge on society that needed to be purged from their lives.
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 century or so from approximately 1550 to 1650 is a period during which witch-hunts reached unprecedented frequency and intensity. The circumstances that fomented the witch- hunts—persistent warfare, religious conflict, and harvest failures—had occurred before, but witch-hunts had never been so ubiquitous or severe.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
This thesis focuses on the significance of blood and the perception of the body in both learned and popular culture in order to investigate problems of identity and social exclusion in early modern Europe.
Throughout the Middle Ages – especially the later Middle Ages – ideas of magic played a large part in the formation of deviant sexual behaviours and it was believed that magic played a main role in sexual malfunctions and abilities.
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.
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.