Witchcraft and Great Powers

Topics: Witchcraft, Witch-hunt, Black Death Pages: 5 (1826 words) Published: May 23, 2013
In early modern Europe witchcraft was considered a crime due to people of this time period being very superstitious. During this time period Witchcraft lead to the invention of such things as Devils and monsters. The bubonic plague and crimes of Heresy lead to many deaths and therefore the ideology that developed was it was the work of Witchcraft. It will be established during this essay the reasons why the use and practice of Witchcraft was deemed to be a crime. The most favourable belief during early modern Europe was that that women were more susceptible to becoming Witches then a male would be. The main reason for this being that Eve was fell pray to the serpent’s temptation in the Garden of Eden and becoming the morally corrupted. With this Eve was ultimately able to tempt Adam to eat the fruit from the tree of life and as a result bringing about the destruction of humanity. During early modern Europe saw such things as the restructure of religion, such people as Martin Luther who was student of law at the time began rejecting the teachings of the church after he suffered a fall from his horse. He ultimately began pulling apart the Latin bible and began studying it in a whole new context. With his beliefs he ultimately created the Protestant church, his main beliefs were that the Latin Church and its beliefs were incorrect. With this ideology taking effect the Latin Church stated that the views of the Protestant church would result in all people believing their ways would ultimately be damned and was an act of Heresy. This was a time of uneasiness due to the growing hatred and ultimately rejection of the Latin Church even though the shift to the Protestant was viewed as an act of rebellion against the Latin Church. History indicates that during this time period many felt that the lower class people bought about the bubonic plague by casting its powers by powders and creation of lotions. Even though it is now known that fleas in fact bought this about. One of the main reasons why it was felt that women were witches during this period of time was due to many of these lower class women having jobs such as being a midwife or able to make medicines to help people which had ultimately been handed down from their mother. These practices enabled the hostility that was being put forward from both the Latin and Protestant church. With the lack of understanding in these practices anyone who had the ability to practice in these areas were labeled witches. With the fear and lack of understanding of these practices ultimately gave way to witch hunters, these were mostly well off land owners that held roles such as governmental positions usually great powers of authority. The prosecution of witches happened after the racial demoralization of the Jewish culture and other lower classes societies. One of the worst events that took place was in early in 1348 when many Jews were murdered in the sleep. The witch hunters were also there to maintain what was felt to be a great threat to the Christian beliefs, as a result of this early modern Europe saw the demoralization and destruction of women due to the belief they were witches. This was all bought about by the Archbishop of Milan, who at the time was Pope Alexander the 5th. Late in 1409 Alexander issued a bill that declared that on the advise of the investigator Fougeyron that Christian and Jews alike were undertaking such activities which goes against the beliefs of the church. He stated that they were participating in witchcraft and the development of spells. The views and actions of the Pope during this time period were seen to be views that would ultimately result in woman loosing any rights they had. Views that were seen in early modern Europe were views that had not been seen since the crimes of Eve in the Garden of Eden. According to Ginzburg Pope Alexander the 5th was the first Pope to promote attacks on lower class women in much the same way as he had done to the Jewish people...

Bibliography: 1 Goodare. Julian "Women and The Witch hunt in Scotland." Social History. Routledge. 1988) Pp; 291-300.
2 Ginzburg. Carlo “Jews, Heretics, Witches.” Ectasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath. (New York, 1991) P: 64. -70.
3 Levack Brian, The witch hunts in early Modern Europe, 3rd Ed (New York 2006) p34
4 Muir Edward, The reformation of religion 1500-1600
[ 4 ]. Carlo Ginzburg. “Jews, Heretics, Witches.” In Idem, ‘Ectasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath. (New York, 1991). P: 63.
[ 5 ]. Robertson Penny Fear in Early Modern Society (Manchester and New York, 1997) P.49
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[ 7 ]. Carlo Ginzburg. “Jews, Heretics, Witches.” In Idem, Ectasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath. (New York, 1991) P69
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[ 11 ]. Carlo Ginzburg. “Jews, Heretics, Witches.”, Ectasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath. (New York, 1991) P 70
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[ 13 ]. R Po-Chia Hsia Trent, 1475.Stories of Ritual trail.(new haven and London,1996) P 21
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[ 16 ]. Julian. Goodare. "Women and The Witch hunt in Scotland." Social History. Routledge. 1988)p 300
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[ 18 ]. Po-Chia Hsia Trent, 1475.Stories of Ritual trail.(new haven and London,1996) P 29
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