Agents of Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy and Denmark by L. Kallestrup

By L. Kallestrup

This ebook bargains a comparability of lay and inquisitorial witchcraft prosecutions. In lots of the early smooth interval, witchcraft jurisdiction in Italy rested with the Roman Inquisition, while in Denmark purely the secular courts raised trials. Kallestrup explores the narratives of witchcraft as they have been laid ahead through humans concerned with the pains.

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Extra resources for Agents of Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy and Denmark

Sample text

By referring to heresy as contagious the authors demonstrate that in the early Middle Ages paganism and heresy continued to be intertwined and that for the Christian Church they remained two sides of the same coin. The Canon Episcopi confirmed Augustine’s doctrine that the separation of body from soul was only possible in death. 41 And such dreams or illusions of man turning into beast had to be considered figments of the human mind. During the Middle Ages the Church would gradually come to regard such magical events as described by Augustine as real.

These might be circles, diabolical letters, the abuse of sacraments and church symbols, and the fact that the intention was always selfish. Soothsayers would cast dice or beans to predict the future, but the information thus gleaned would come with a malediction. The source of it would be the Devil himself. In accordance with the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, the bull viewed the magicians’ use of rituals as an attempt to obtain an insight that would normally be beyond human capabilities. The only answer to this request for insight would come from demons, and the answers would therefore always be false.

The dispute came about because the secular authorities believed that the inquisition was too lenient in its sentencing. 113 The text is probably the best example of a moderate inquisition that was highly sensitive to procedures. 115 Far too often the accused had been imprisoned and tortured early in the process, without the corpus delicti having been identified. In other words, many people would end up imprisoned by the inquisition accused of witchcraft without any investigation having substantiated the case against them.

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