Examples Of Persecution Of Witchcraft

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There are documented examples of persecution of witchcraft going as far back as Classical Antiquity and the Old Testament. For example, in Ancient Rome black magic was treated as a capital offence by the Law of the Twelve Tables . The early legal codes of most European nations contain laws directed against witchcraft. For instance, the oldest document of Frankish legislation, the Salic Law, punishes those who practice magic with various fines, especially when it could be proven that the accused launched a deadly curse. All throughout history, there have always been cases of conjures, cunning, sorcerers and witches. Normally these individuals were women, who were believed to have supernatural powers over human beings and nature. Thus, some people…show more content…
Some of them succeeded in convincing many people to end such hysterical and irrational behaviour. Europe experienced the Enlightenment and the Reformation when the fanaticism for witch-hunts started to decline. The rise of secular rationalism also started around this time. Secularism, which is the separation of church and state, and rationalism, which appeals to reason, convinced Europeans to stop the witch-hunts. It started with early Enlightenment's intelligentsia. However, people from the middle class also started accepting the theory of secular rationalism and they rejected witch-hunts in order to assure their association with the…show more content…
The social, political and philosophical/intellectual changes I mentioned before allowed for European societies to implement changes in law. In England, the Witchcraft Act of 1734 redefined witchcraft so that the conventional form of witchcraft would no longer be considered as a legal offence. The English Act of Parliament in 1736 also eradicated witch-hunts. Poland did so in 1776. The revisions made in judiciary institutions contributed to bringing the hunts to an end. Even though the materialization of institutional factors in every state varied, they were the ultimate reason of the decline and end of the
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