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Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes • Trials, plate 60 from Los Caprichos • 1797/99 • etching & aquatint on ivory laid paper 183 x 124 mm

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes • Trials, plate 60 from Los Caprichos • 1797/99 • etching & aquatint on ivory laid paper 183 x 124 mm

En los juicios de brujas no se admitían pruebas atenuantes o testigos de la defensa. En todo caso, era casi imposible para las brujas acusadas presentar buenas coartadas; las normas de las pruebas tenían un carácter especial. Por ejemplo, en más de un caso el marido atestiguó que su esposa estaba durmiendo en sus brazos en el preciso instante en que la acusaban de estar retozando con el diablo en un aquelarre de brujas; pero el arzobispo, pacientemente, explicó que un demonio había ocupado…

En los juicios de brujas no se admitían pruebas atenuantes o testigos de la defensa. En todo caso, era casi imposible para las brujas acusadas presentar buenas coartadas; las normas de las pruebas tenían un carácter especial. Por ejemplo, en más de un caso el marido atestiguó que su esposa estaba durmiendo en sus brazos en el preciso instante en que la acusaban de estar retozando con el diablo en un aquelarre de brujas; pero el arzobispo, pacientemente, explicó que un demonio había ocupado…

The topic of Familiars in modern witchcraft is a bit  misinformed as to what exactly these beings are. Some say they are simply a pet belonging to a witch; however, it is far from the case. In the …

Imps, Familiars, and The Familiar Spirit

The topic of Familiars in modern witchcraft is a bit misinformed as to what exactly these beings are. Some say they are simply a pet belonging to a witch; however, it is far from the case. In the …

#WitchcraftWednesday  Spell in the fields  Anonymous German engraving of the sixteenth century

#WitchcraftWednesday Spell in the fields Anonymous German engraving of the sixteenth century

The devil dancing at a fire with arms crossed in profile to left, lifting one knee; witches riding broomsticks in the air, one seen in foreground at far right; head of another devil at far left. Etching. Print made by Richard Girling (1814-1869)

The devil dancing at a fire with arms crossed in profile to left, lifting one knee; witches riding broomsticks in the air, one seen in foreground at far right; head of another devil at far left. Etching. Print made by Richard Girling (1814-1869)

Caliban underscores that the persecution of witches was not just some error of ignorant peasants, but in fact the deliberate policy of Church and State, the very ruling class of society. Just as the panic over terrorism has enabled today’s powers-that-be to attempt to remake the Middle East, this book makes the case that the powers-that-were of Medieval Europe exploited or invented the fear of witches to remake European society towards a social paradigm that met their interests.

Caliban underscores that the persecution of witches was not just some error of ignorant peasants, but in fact the deliberate policy of Church and State, the very ruling class of society. Just as the panic over terrorism has enabled today’s powers-that-be to attempt to remake the Middle East, this book makes the case that the powers-that-were of Medieval Europe exploited or invented the fear of witches to remake European society towards a social paradigm that met their interests.

Frontispiece from the witch hunter Matthew Hopkins'   'The Discovery of Witches', 1647, showing witches  identifying their familiar spirits

Frontispiece from the witch hunter Matthew Hopkins' 'The Discovery of Witches', 1647, showing witches identifying their familiar spirits

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