Malleus Maleficarum (). translated by Montague Summers []. This is the best known (i.e., the most infamous) of the witch-hunt manuals. Written in Latin. Malleus maleficarum, detailed legal and theological document (c. ) regarded as the standard handbook on witchcraft, including its detection and its. (title page from Lyons edition of Malleus Maleficarum as found in Robbins ). written in by two German Dominicans, Heinrich Kramer and Jakob.

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They were less clever, vainer, and more sexually insatiable.

Those beliefs are held even today by a majority of Christians in regard to practitioners of the modern “revived” religion of Witchcraft, or Wicca. This is the best known i. The Malleus devotes an entire chapter to the sinful weakness of women, their lascivious nature, moral and intellectual inferiority and gullibility to guidance from deceiving spirits.

Section I examines the concept of witchcraft theoretically, from the point of view of natural philosophy and theology. The Period of the Witch Trials.

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In spite of the document’s place of primacy in the history of the European “witch-craze,” the Malleus can hardly be called an original text, for it mmaleficarum heavily upon earlier works by Visconti, Torquemada, and, most famously, Johannes Nider the Formicarius [].

Philosophy and religion Religion Credited.

Theologians and jurists respected it as one among many informative books; its particular savage misogyny and its obsession with impotence were never fully accepted”, Monter, The Sociology of Jura Witchcraftin The Witchcraft Readerp. Therein, the author s offer a step-by-step guide to conducting a witch trial, from the method of initiating the process and assembling accusations, to the proper forms of defensive council, to the interrogation of witnesses and the formal laying of charges against the accused.


The book claims that “the nobility of their nature causes certain demons to balk at committing certain actions and filthy deeds. The Malleus urges them to adopt torture, leading questions, the admission of denunciation as valid evidence, and other Inquisitorial practices to achieve swift results. The section offers a step-by-step guide to the conduct of a witch trial, from the method of initiating the process and assembling accusations, to the interrogation including torture of witnesses, and the formal charging of the accused.

Kramer was intensely writing and preaching until his death in Bohemia in Estimates of the death toll during the Inquisition worldwide range fromto as high as 9, over its year long course ; either is a chilling number when one realizes that nearly all of the accused were women, and consisted primarily of outcasts and other suspicious persons.

Kramer also discussed witch-caused impotence at length, going so far as to claim that witches had the ability to steal men’s penises through illusion. Such trials accepted a degree of the miraculous.

Others believe that it is much more likely that the Letter of Approbation was genuine, but that the Malleus itself was never actually read by those who endorsed it. Marija Gimbutasprofessor of archaeology at the University of California, that as many as 9 mallleus people, overwhelmingly womenwere burned or hanged during the witch-craze. The Malleus Malleuz “crystallized malleficarum a fiercely stringent code previous folklore about black magic with church dogma on heresy, and It could easily be argued that the practices of the medieval Church would fall under this definition, but since most contemporaries would have excluded such practices from the category, we will also ignore these here, and consider as “magical” only such practices as would not have been considered legitimate rites of the Church.


The authors of the Malleus addressed those voices in no uncertain terms, stating: To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Malleus Maleficarumtrans. Magical acts and witchcraft had long been forbidden by the Church, whose attitude towards witchcraft was explained in the Canon Episcopi written in about AD Malleus maleficarumdetailed legal and theological document c.

Tertiary sources Hayes, Stephen Amoral and undisciplined, women are governed primarily by passion. Science had only just begun to make any real advances. The immediate, and lasting, popularity of the Malleus essentially silenced those voices. One response to these various and related crises was an overall shift towards conservatism, insularity, and a type of religious xenophobia, which culminated in the persecution of various individuals and groups deemed dangerous by the religious authorities.

The Malleus Maleficarum

Anyone who questioned the validity of any part of Catholic belief did so at their own risk. They interact with witches, usually sexually.

The Hammer of Witches: Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger.