"An encyclopedic catalog of research from medieval fertility cults to Nazi paganism, and an original, delicate reading of what all these 'facts' and figures might mean."—HistorianEach volume in the series Witchcraft and Magic in Europe combines the traditional approaches of political, legal, and social historians with a critical synthesis of cultural anthropology, historical psychology, and gender studies. The series, complete in six volumes, provides a modern, scholarly survey of the supernatural beliefs of Europeans from ancient times to the present day.
"An excellent overview of early modern witchcraft and magic."—Religious Studies Review
Praise for the series:
"An exceptional historical and social analysis of a subject of enduring interest."—Library Journal
"Although intended mainly for scholars, there is much to interest the common reader."—New Yorker
"A modern scholarly survey of a wide variety of beliefs and practices from ancient times to the present."—Theology Digest
"Masterful. . . . A fine series that incorporates the best of modern scholarship. . . . There is something here for almost everybody."—Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance
Most European prosecutions for the crime of witchcraft occurred between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, with the peak coming in the hundred years after 1560. This volume brings together the large amount of recent scholarship on witchcraft of this period and provides a novel analysis of the trials by considering the legal systems involved. Witch hunts, methods of torture, and the scientific interest in magic spells and demonology as an intellectual pursuit are also covered in detail.
Bengt Ankarloo is Professor of History at Lund University, Sweden. Stuart Clark is Professor of History at the University of Wales, Swansea.