: The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (): Brian P. Levack: Books. The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe has ratings and 28 reviews. Katie said: This is a nice & sober recounting of a subject that’s often pretty sens. The Witch-Hunt in Modern Europe by Brian Levack proved to be an interesting as well as insightful look at the intriguing world of the European practice of.

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These sections were excellent and were also a great primer for my afore mentioned loose grasp of European history. Open Preview See a Problem? This is an easy read and a great introduction to the topic.

There were three main judicial and legal developments that contributed to the decline of witchcraft: This, the revised third edition, offers student and expert alike immediate access to an overwhelming levaack literature, establishing it as the essential starting point for the hung of early modern witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials.

Sep 28, AskHistorians added it Shelves: One of his main themes that I found particularly interesting was his distinction between maleficia trying to cause harm through magic and diabolism the worship of the devil A good overview of much-debated subject based mainly on good recent scholarly books, not primary research by Levack. But these sections may be the ‘meat’ of the book as levafk as the scholars are concerned.

Brian Levack’s The Witch-hunt In Modern Europe: Summary & Analysis

The third determinant was the extent to which the central judicial authority had control on the trials. Explores the beliefs of both educated and illiterate people regarding witchcraft. Between and thousands of people, most of them women, were accused, prosecuted and executed for the crime of witchcraft.

English Choose a language for shopping. The development of pevack judicial power given to the state in the prosecution of a crime was a major event.

The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe by Brian P. Levack

These women were referred to as strigae, which was one of the many Latin terms for witches. Later in the book I found my eyes glazing over a bit especially during the chronology and geography section. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Most authors have their own pet theory of the main cause of hubt travesty hubt revenge, misogyny, the Protestants, the Catholics, religious intolerance in general, societal changes, political maneuvering, mass hysteria, etc.


My library Help Advanced Book Search. Some would barter their soul to the devil in exchange for a gift or a taste of well being.

The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe

Perhaps this sort of information is beyond the scope of Levack’s interest, but its omission does make for dry reading of numbers and dates, as opposed to the more human stories that lie behind them. Draws together the results of dozens of case-studies and presents a clear narrative, useful for academics and non-academics alike. Fearlessly, Brian Levack tackles a vast, complex subject and reduces it to a concise levck lucid synthesis with consummate skill, challenging old assumptions and casting light into the darkest corners.

This book is detailed and rigorous in its approach and superbly argued. New illustrations vividly depict beliefs about witchcraft in early modern Europe.

Brian Levack’s The Witch-hunt In Modern Europe: Summary & Analysis – SchoolWorkHelper

Regions where justice was decentralized – particularly the Holy Roman Empire and Scotland – saw the worst bursts of violence and accusations, while areas of centralized ecclesiastical justice like Spain saw very few. This was most evident in large hunts and countries known for their large numerous executions and not known for their Christianity. A rise of secular skepiticism in the late seventeenth century and the early levvack century, and the emergence of the modern state that did not appreciate the local courts who dominated witch-trials flexing their muscles.

Levack appears to have read every significant work, both new and old and in most relevant languages, and has judiciously sifted out the information, pondered on it, and come up with balanced and sensible verdicts. May well be right. The economic and social chaos of this century and the political and religious instability caused anxiety that led to witches becoming a scapegoat for the general ills of society during their rapid time of change.


Sometimes professional witch-hunters carried on the task, but judicial authorities performed most. Otherwise it is as clear an account of the proceedings that spread so wide and lasted for so long, as any A very thorough accounting of the creation of the witch-craze, the consequent witchtrials and the end of this longsuffering period of our time.


I didn’t think I would like it, but there is a lot of great information in this book and I quoted quite a bit of the material in a paper that I wrote. I’m hknt, by any means, an Early Modernist, European historian, or particularly interested in maleficia or religion.

He basically argues that two major changes in the legal thr led to the early modern witch-hunt: I feel that he underestimated religious control and the ths gasps of medieval theology as factors, but this is still a very good resource in unders The premise of the book is that witch hunts on a hung scale uhnt occurred when a belief in diabolism and evil magic moved from the upper classes to the lower classes AND a judicial system had developed enough to carry out actual witch trials.

Since secular courts had jurisdiction over magic and maleficium they primarily assumed the significant role in wifch witches. I’d never really broached the subject of witchcraft before I jumped into this book. Ariane Mortlock rated it really liked it Jan 15, The first half of the book is taken up with the causes, intellectual, judicial, social, and religious, of the witch-craze.

What did they tell us about the social, economic and political history of early modern Europe, and, in particular, the position of women within it? All in all, one of the best treatments of the issue. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries An enthralling and exceptional study, Levack focuses on the great age of witch-hunting in Europe and also in colonial Americabetween and It is beloved by some of my historian colleagues.