Witches Be Thy Enemy

Decent Essays

For the greater part of Christianity the popular belief was that magic did not exist and while those who did were diluted. By the end of the Inquisition there was an estimated 90,000 witch trials occur with an estimated 50% of them resulting in executions (Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe 1987, 2006, 23). So what dramatic turn did Europe take during the Inquisition? In the late sixteenth century the great witch hunt was beginning, and this was fueled by the European elites believing that witches were actively harming their neighbors and conspiring with the Devil against the Catholic Church. By the middle of the sixteenth century the profile of the witch was well known and the educated European began to believe in witches (Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe 1987, 2006, 30). What these elite Europeans specifically believed about witches was that they had created personal pacts with the Devil in exchange for the powers that they obtained. The places where these pacts were formed were called the Sabbath (originating from the Jewish holy day), this is where men and women whom practiced witchcraft would gather secretly at night and have relations with the Devil, demons and each other (Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe 1987, 2006, 40-45). Document 16 in Levack goes over the treaties A Discourse on Witches by Judge Henri Boguet, in which he gives a detailed confession by Francoise Secretain where she and others, both male and female,

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