Bengt Ankarloo - Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials
Each 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.
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.