The Great European Witch Hunt in Elizabethan England and Jacobean Scotland
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Great European Witch Hunt swept across Europe from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, but the nature of these witch hunts differed from country to country. These differences can be attributed to the fulfillment, or lack thereof, of the preconditions to the Great European Witch Hunt: the adoption of the inquisitorial judicial procedure, the use of torture, the movement of witchcraft trials to secular and local courts, a belief in maleficium facilitated by a pact with Satan, a belief that witches met in large groups to perform anti-human rituals at the sabbat and the belief in the witch’s ability to fly to such Satanic meetings. These preconditions were largely fulfilled on the Continent, while they were only partially fulfilled in England and in Scotland, and more-so in Scotland than in England. The result is that the Great European Witch Hunt took a much more extreme form on the European Continent than it did in England or Scotland, and it was more severe in Scotland than in England.
Degree ProgramHonors College