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Witchcraft Notes Week 1

by: Emily Simone

Witchcraft Notes Week 1 4490

Marketplace > University of Toledo > History > 4490 > Witchcraft Notes Week 1
Emily Simone
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About this Document

First week of notes for the course Witchcraft and Magic in Medieval and Modern Europe
Witchcraft and Magic in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Dr. McCollough
Class Notes
history, Medieval Europe, witchcraft, magic




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Simone on Thursday January 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 4490 at University of Toledo taught by Dr. McCollough in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Witchcraft and Magic in Medieval and Early Modern Europe in History at University of Toledo.


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Date Created: 01/14/16
To believe in the power of witchcraft, one must believe in the forces of good and evil  Neanderthals were the first to bury their dead  Neolithic Age  Evolution of human belief and spirits  Women were goddesses and bulls were gods   Paleolithic and Neolithic used magic: dances that imitated hunt, rites to eliminate  sickness, cave paintings to help hunters  Nightmares were believed to be real, spirits conjured in the mind became active in the night  Neolithic shaman, priest, priestess achieved social power by establishing a  relationship with unseen forces Definition of Magic  Purports to control or forecast natural events, effects or forces by invoking  supernatural spirits  Bronze Age (3300­1200 BCE)  Egypt and Iraq (Mesopotamia)  With urbanization, a pantheon of gods and goddesses were created   Neolithic shaman evolved into a powerful Bronze Age priestly caste  o Claimed to be representatives of new gods   Different Religions of Middle East o Canaanite  o Levant o Sumerian o Arabian Polytheism o Abrahamic Monotheism  Ancient Arabians and Hebrews borrowed demonic images from Egypt and Iraq  and created the concept of Shaitan (Satan) and the first ideas of demonic  possession  Egypt  No word for religion in Ancient Egyptian  Heka­ activation of the power of the Ka (soul)  Using Ka, they could use the power of the gods   Magic wands were first invented by the Egyptians   Used to protect against angry gods, jealous ghost and demons  Mesopotamia  Sumerians of Ancient Iraq expanded the belief in evil witches  Good priests (Asu or Asipu) would burn their image of a witch in effigy (Rite of  Maqlu) to eliminate their powers  If a witch was caught, they would be thrown in a river Greece  Incorporated witches and demons into their beliefs  Sought to copy the Eastern Magi (magicians)  First to use Voodoo dolls for evil purposes   Described witches as beautiful, seductive women Rome  Many Roman emperors greatly feared witches  Persecuted anyone suspected of using magic or sorcery   First to burn witches at the stake   Witches were seen as ugly and evil  Greeks and Romans developed the art of Divination used to foretell the future  Find lost items  Identify the guilty by involving the use of spirit beings   Interpret omens  Necromancy Art of conjuring up the spirits of the dead and communicating with them to foretell the  future Christian Invasion   Christian missionaries invaded the pagan Germanic north  The missionaries inadvertently incorporated many Germanic customs into  Christian theology Nordic Witches  Certain women had immense supernatural powers  Völvas (Wand Carriers) –far north  Wicca (Wise Women) –England  To fight the influence of these women, missionaries stated the witch’s powers  were derived from the Devil  Germanic people would return to ancient practice of sacrificing to Thor and Odin  Christianity   744 the Council of Leptinnes issues laws making it illegal to perform 30  superstitious acts  by 700, many church leaders preached that the belief in in the power of witches  was only a foolish idea  by 900 even the Christian leaders came to believe in witches o believed for first time that witches had the ability to fly   Beginning of Middle Ages, Christian faith worked to consolidate its powers over  the people  Defined all evil as being centered around Satan and his demonic arm   Fought to eliminate all Heretics  o Albigensians and Waldensians centered in southern France o Homosexuals, Jews and any magician  o Claimed heretics held secret meetings, conducted orgies, and even  consumed Christian babies o By 1250 these same charges would be made against witches  1450, the fear of witches became an obsession in Europe  Witch Craze lasted from 1400 to 1700, reaching its height between 1560 and 1660 Malleus Maleficarum­ 1486, book describing who a witch was and how to prosecute  them   Ugly, bodily deformed, with birthmarks and warts, old, wrinkled, bent, crippled  and reclusive Inquisition  1230, the Church established the Inquisition  Dominican monks were to seek out and turn over witches to secular authorities  for execution  Witches gained power to fly in order to join others at mass meetings (Witches’  Sabbats) o Blaspheming against God, indulging in orgies, sleeping with Satan  Witches were helped by animals called Familiars  o Demons in animal form that suckled the “Witch’s Tit” an extra nipple  given her when she entered Satan’s service  A young witch might receive the services of an Incubus to become pregnant to  bring forth a new generation of witches  Succubus, would attack a Christian man to steal his sperm and use it to make new  demons Torture and Confessions   Initially limits were placed on severity and duration of torture, they were often  ignored White Witches  Hedge Witches or Cunning Folk­ used holistic products to heal people  Benandanti­ Italian good witches, born outside the Caul (birth sack) o Battle evil witches over control of crops Witch­ either male or female  Magician­ male practioner of magic Sorcerers had a natural talent for magic, magicians had to learn Wizard­  Warlock­male witch, sorverer or wizard, means Oath­Breaker Modern Wicca view Warlocks as anyone who has been banished from a coven Sorcery­ one who influences fate, use of supernatural power Renaissance  Rediscovery of ancient and Arabic texts on magic  Revived the practice of Alchemy, combination of magic and science o Sorcerer’s Stone o Panacea­ remedy for all diseases o Elixir of longevity  Reformation   Protestant vs. Catholics   Forbidden sexual positions or behaviors  Certain occupation were singled out o Midwives  After 1700, the number of witch trials fell rapidly, surviving records indicate that 110,000 women were killed


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