THE WITCH HUNTS
& THE SCROLL
ROLL CALL is a 1.53 x 18.3 metre paper scroll artwork by Majak Bredell with fifty two life size figures inscribed with extracts from the Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of the Witches) of 1486, and the names of the victims.
This online HTML installation was built by digital artist katty vandenberghe.
An artwork created to vindicate the lives & bodies that were broken and burned during the many centuries of
European Witch Persecutions
by MAJAK BREDELL
View further artworks, the artist's CV and press releases at
Article completed May 2012
uploaded July 2012
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THE WITCH PERSECUTIONS
Legacies & Ideology
Torture, Popes, Pulpits & Power
Belief, Fear & Superstition
Sex, Body & Misogyny
Image, Critics & Skeptics
What Witches Be
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Witches flying on broomsticks from 'The history of witches and wizards', 1720, T. Norris, London
'A white-faced witch meeting a black-faced witch with a great beast',
'Witch Travels to Hell' 1493
'Die Hexen' 1500s, Hans Baldung Grien
'De Lamiis et Phitonicis Mulieribus' 1493, Ulrich Molitor
'Dead Lovers' 1528
'The Fall of the Damned' 1450, Dirk (Dieric) Bouts, Netherlands. 115 × 69.5 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille.
'The Last Judgement' detail, 'Satan Devouring the Damned in Hell' circa 1431, Fra Angelico, Italy. Tempera on panel, Museo di San Marco, Florence.
'The Crucifixion' 1515 Isenheim altarpiece panel, Matthias Grünewald. Oil on wood, 269 x 307 cm, Musee d'Unterlinden, Colmar.
'Saint Augustine (or Wolfgang ) and The Devil' 1471-1475, Kirchenväteraltar panel, Michael Pacher. Oil on panel, 103 × 91 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
'The Last Judgment' detail 1537-1541, Michelangelo. Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Italy.
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In 2009 I injured my back. For the following year my active studio work came to a halt while I was recovering. This hiatus forced me to my book shelves and note books. In the past, in my ongoing research on reflections and representations of the female in mythology, religion, and history, I would inevitably come across the European witch persecutions that took place between the 1100s and the 1700s. This material was always difficult to digest, but now the pain in my own body opened me to the pain of others and gave me a specific empathy for the terrible tortures suffered by the many lives and bodies that were so brutally broken, scorched, stretched, dislocated, ripped, drowned, and burned during Europe's systematic and furious assault on men, women, and even children believed to be witches. A plague of fear was set off by the binaries of good and evil that fractured people's thoughts and beliefs at the same time as the Inquisitors fractured, maimed and ultimately extinguished those deemed evil. The crime at the heart of the witch persecutions was an imaginary one for which real people really suffered and died while the words proliferating in the many treatises, sermons, and theories fueled the fires of the inquisitions.
The artwork, ROLL CALL, is a paper scroll (20 yards long x 60" high — 18.30m x 1.53m) that is populated with fifty two figures who "show up" as their names are called. Super-inscribed behind and over them are extracts from the Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of the Witches of 1486), case histories, forms of torture, and time lines. Words were powerful weapons during the persecutions, they served to violate the body as much as did the visceral violations of the executioners and torturers. Actual lives became mere cyphers in the theories that led to the extinguishing of thousands of lives for the nebulous crimes of witchcraft and heresy. In my scroll, I juxtapose the un-violated body with the words that reflect the agonies that were suffered.
The historic picture is/was never visible in its entirety, and nor was it for the people who lived during these frightening times . The scroll of paper can be exhibited completely unfurled, or with the ends rolled in from either side, making only a portion visible at a time. This mimics history's inevitable myopia whereby the picture of the witch persecutions remained incomplete for people living during the witch persecutions. And even today, only fragmentary glimpses can be had through the frayed fabric of this lengthy period in European history. ROLL CALL is my symbolic restoration of the bodies and lives that were broken and burned — in time the inscriptions on the scroll that are written in marker pen, may start to fade, leaving the figures and the names sharp and clear as though they could rise out of the many words that sealed their fate.
In the sources I consulted I was unable to find a definitive list of the names of those who perished during the witch hunts, nor is there consensus on the number of people who lost their lives. In many places no records were kept, or they were destroyed, or people weren't named (simply referred to as a man or woman or "unspecified number of persons.") Some histories or studies only list the "major" witch hunts, or mark the "hot spots" on a map. Such emphases on extremes overlooks the single body tortured, broken and burned, or a single heart and mind terrified by the torture and "confession" demanded by the inquisitor — all for a belief that could not be substantiated. In my research of these times of actual terrible suffering, what resonates for me is the individual life wiped out, sometimes named and other times un-named, or how a person's humanity could not only be dismissed by accusations of demonic cooperation, but doubly dismissed when referred to simply a man, or a woman or persons un-named — and thus erased. The names I did manage to gather were compiled from several lists found on the internet, and augmented with names I came across in the course of my reading. These names form a continuous band along the bottom of the scroll: ROLL CALL — calling up the many...
The two figures that enter the the scroll on the left, symbolize the first couple, Adam & Eve. Their "sin" of disobedience cast a mighty long shadow across history, condemning anyone who did not obediently believe in the heresy of witchcraft and its supposed pact with the devil. Eve's hand rests on the arm of a pregnant woman to mark the way in which, according to Christianity, the body became the vehicle for transmission of "original sin."
As in my explorations of the Black Madonna & her sisters  (Alter Images 2009), I am again dealing with darkness. In this case the darkening (or discrediting) of the woman/healer's work by ecclesiastic fear and common superstition and the darkening (or damning) of people's lives once an accusation of witchcraft rung out. The sooty ashes on some of the figures allude to both the blackening of humanity's foibles and failures by the "faithful" as well as the fires that consumed so many of the condemned. This is the only visual reference I make to the fires that ended their lives.
The Renaissance or Early Modern Period, that lasted from the mid 1400s to the mid 1500s, was a turning point in Western art, but not in religious ideology. While artists refined the ideals of beauty, proportion, and perspective, the men of the inquisitions inverted any notion of beauty by their repeated violations of the integrity of the bodies and lives of the people they tortured and executed, while simultaneously upending the ancient goddess of love by their fear & loathing of sexuality and desire. I placed Leonardo's Vetruvian man  and Michaelangelo's Expulsion of Adam & Eve from the Garden in the centre of the scroll alongside Botticelli's (inverted) Venus. As if to push the Renaissance into the background, I overlay these figures with a chronology of demonologies, trials, and the words of skeptics, that were active for two more centuries until, in the late 1700s, enlightened minds and conscientious objectors turned the tide for rationalism to supersede superstition. I suspect that instead of infusing beauty and respect for the body into the minds of men authorized to persecute "witches," the naturalistic art of the Renaissance established a reality — a corporeality, if you will — of demonic entities and humanity's resulting exposure to torment and damnation, that legitimized the practice of body violation.
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-  Perhaps the most poignant and authentic window into the terrible choices forced upon the victims of the inquisitions, was Johannes Junius' letter to his daughter. (Inscribed over figure 37) < go back >
-  Classic mythology transformed the older Goddesses into dark and dangerous characters who became outsiders on the margins of patriarchal mythology. See www.art.co.za/majakbredell. The "witches" too, were seen as outsiders whose humanity was extinguished in the flames of the persecutions. < go back >
-  I find it ironic that at the time Leonardo perfected the ideal, measured standards of beauty, outsiders and ugly people became worthless matter on the scaffolds and pyres that claimed and consumed their lives. < go back >
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THE WITCH PERSECUTIONS
Legacies & Ideology
The question of what lay behind the witch hunts that took place for centuries in Europe, Britain, and later in North America, does not yield a simple answer. It is hard to find a single good reason why these atrocities came about and persisted for so long . This was no single act of mass extermination by a single madman, or confined to a single country. It was a complex & potent concoction of RELIGION, POLITICS & SUPERSTITION that sustained the witch persecutions and kept the cauldrons of inquisitional minds boiling for centuries.
According to Wolfgang Beringer, in the Greek and Roman eras strigae (from the verb to scream) were conceived as demonic creatures capable of flying through the air, stealing children and devouring them. He suggests that the transition from ancient belief in strigae to the late Medieval belief in witches was a fluid one. The Christianization of Europe took much longer than the decisions made at the Council of Nicea in 325CE that endorsed Christianity as the new religion. Beringer asks how many generations it took for the common folk to learn new beliefs?  It seems as though belief in witchcraft may be as old as humankind itself and the possibility exists that just as belief in a Christian God has created manifestations of miraculous events, so belief in witchcraft may have created manifestations of malignancy and evil. Yet, in my readings on the witch-hunts I never became convinced that miraculous forms of evil existed other than in the minds of the men who drove the theories that supported the practice of torture & extermination.
Tribal and shamanistic ideas like magical flight, animal transformation or sympathetic magic were a legacy of the spiritual mind from as far back as the dark recesses of Paleolithic times. As religion became progressively organized, a growing hostility to the mythology and beliefs that still carried echoes of these themes, developed simultaneously with the absorption of these old ideas into its own mythology and superstition. The permeability of the psyche whereby the individual crosses the boundaries of the material and the spiritual worlds was the fertile field from which great mythology rose. Christian theologians severed these older understandings from their mythological and psychic matrices and forced them into the concretism of God's will in opposition to demonic will. When the integral whole was split up and turned against itself, it created a wasteland filled with demons. Belief in demonic witchcraft is the dark side of a religious belief that, instead of appeasing invisible evil forces, targets and tortures actual human beings! In older, pre-biblical times, offerings were made to the gods to ensure good fortune and to ward off bad luck. Can the witch executions be considered as extensions of the sacrifices that would placate the wrath of an angry god? Sadly during the European witch-hunts, this "sacrifice" was understood to be ridding the world of evils instead of appeasing a deity for a favorable outcome. The advent of the kind of monotheism that tolerated "no other gods before me,"  opened the path for the witch persecutions that grew out of the persecutions for heresy during the Early Middle Ages. St Augustine's "true worship of the true god" was nothing more than the sanctioning of a war between absolute good and absolute evil that left no room for the nuanced and diverse labyrinth of the psyche. Consider the words that have become integral to the mantra of monotheism's fear of diversity: sacrilegious, anti-christ, witchcraft, infidel, heretic, idolatry, blasphemy...
By the late Medieval Period (early 1400s) and the Early Modern Period (Renaissance) disbelief in witchcraft was deemed heresy. Thus the boundaries between magical thinking and religious thinking became fatally blurred. Every misfortune could be blamed on the malevolence of witchcraft, aided by the devil with God's permission. This was also a time of words. "In the beginning" God spoke the world into being — the men of the church harnessed the power of the word to give authority to their theories that developed into an elaborate system of identification, persecution, torture, and execution of witches. Pagan gods were anathematized as evil spirits and folklore was transformed into systematic demonology  . The resulting binary opposites of this system, invariably served to identify humanity as either influenced by, or faithful to, either good or bad. Good Christians feared God and obeyed his commandments; bad ones succumbed to Satan's temptations and become his servants, the witches.
Once a suspicion or accusation of witchcraft rang out, the accused person would suffer the dehumanizing consequences of being deemed an enemy of the faith. Christians of all denominations were encouraged to believe that every witch had made a pact with the devil and had thereby denounced the faith. Covenant theology used the idea of a pact with Satan as the antithesis of man's covenant with God.  By relentlessly persecuting witches, the church spread the very heresy it was trying to combat. Because of its economic power and singular access to print and dissemination technologies, the Church’s words — tracts, treatises, Papal Bulls, and sermons — would sustain the witch hunts for centuries. Handbooks & demonologies insisted on the physical existence of Satan, who supposedly (with God's permission) used the witch as his instrument of maleficium (literally “evil-doing”). In 1486, Kramer & Sprenger, who cited earlier demonologists and theorists, perpetuated and elaborated on the belief in witchcraft in their highly popular and oft-reprinted Malleus Maleficarum, a handbook that lay on the desk of every judge and executioner. If God could mete out everlasting punishment for sinners, then the punishment mere men meted out to heretics and witches must have paled by comparison. Or did these men, so caught up in their own words, think of themselves on a par with God's power and thus, became the real devils of the witch hunts? To my mind, monotheism invented the devil as God's opponent and then ecclesiastic minds devised elaborate treatises on how to destroy this invented opponent by destroying actual people.
The human fascination with light/dark, life/death, above and below was not invented by the Christians. The underworld of Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, & Classical Greek mythology played its part in a cosmogony that drew parallels between the seeded earth with its seasons of dormancy and of plenty. For example, Persephone's annual sojourn to the underworld of her husband, Hades, and her return to her mother Demeter's fertile earth, mimicked the seasons. In Egypt, Osiris's role as ruler of the underworld rose from his several deaths and resurrections mediated by Isis. Little wooden boxes made in the shape of his figure were placed in the tombs of the Pharoes filled with soil and seeds that would germinate in the dark and become symbolic of the soul's afterlife. In the Ancient Middle East, Inanna of Sumer died in the underworld realm of her sister Ereshkigal and her body hung on a hook for three days until she was resurrected and returned to the world above in synchronization with the seasons. The underworld, in many ancient belief systems, was a place of transition and transformation. Then, at some time during the evolution of monotheism, the underworld became a fiery pit filled with demons and tortured souls as the images in illuminated manuscripts graphically display alongside the many works on the subject by Hieronymus Bosch, Matthias Grünewald, Michaelangelo, Peter Bruegel the Elder, Hans Memling, Fra Angelico, Giotto di Bondone, Giorgio Vasari, and many others. These illustrations of the torments of the damned served to frighten the congregation into obedience to the church and its teachings. I suggest that these images of violated bodies tormented by demons served the double purpose of instilling fear as it legitimated the torture inflicted by inquisitors and jailers.
Although charges of witchcraft eventually came to serve as common political currency  for Popes, Bishops, Princes, and Kings, the witch persecutions were in essence driven by a particular Christian ideology that needed the evil of Satan to offset the good of God. Early Medieval narratives emphasized the conflicts between saints and demons and sorcerers, whose power had to be seen as real in order to amplify the saints' achievements.  As the mythology of witchcraft evolved into a highly codified set of beliefs, it, too, relied on proving the reality of the devil and his servant, the witch, to amplify the power of God. The biblical battle of Satan vs God/Jesus justified the Western mindset of fear and self-righteousness. A set of parallel dualities is set up in the Satan of the Old Testament who enforces the anger of a vengeful God, stern and unforgiving, whereas the Satan of the New Testament is set up to delineate the effete gentleness of Jesus, in contrast to his forbidding father. Similarly, the devil of the witch hunts was set up to enforce faith in God by giving human credence to the ongoing battle between God and evil (in the form of the witch at Satan's command). This construct insisted that without faith in Satan, faith in God was impaired. And to substantiate this ideal, real people were tortured and killed as so many seals of the faith.
Ironically, the Protestant Reformation of 1517-1550, did not lead to a reformation in the witch persecutions. Nor did the Protestant iconoclasts, who mounted a vicious war on religious imagery, question whether the demons depicted in the art they destroyed actually existed or softened or modified their stance toward human frailty and fallibility. Instead, religious rivalry and consequent strains in areas where Catholicism & Protestantism overlapped, added ferment to the ongoing witch hunts, resulting in some of the fiercest persecutions.
-  The persecutions were dense in some areas and sparse in others. In some places they continued for centuries, in others they came to a stop sooner. < go back >
Beringer, Wolfgang, 30, 32, 34 < go back >
Exodus 20:3 < go back >
Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 6 < go back >
Levac, Brian P. (Ed.), 94 < go back >
Burns, William E., 251 < go back >
Beringer, Wolfgang, 34 < go back >
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Torture, Popes, Pulpits & Power
The use of torture to extract confessions created a world of terror that inevitably led to the perpetuation of the heresy of witchcraft. Driven by a sadistic impulse, the inquisitors had every advantage over their victims: they were better educated, held community prestige, had access to the implements of torture, and had the law and God to justify their actions. The terror of the Inquisitions lay in their power to reach into any man's, woman's or child's life and to snuff it out in blood and fire, without cause other than the moral mission, not to mention the personal pleasure, of the executioner empowered to do so. Repeated tortures were inflicted on the accused by being whipped, burned and ripped by hot irons, having their shin bones crushed in the Spanish Boots, being hoisted in the strappado and suddenly dropped so that arms and shoulders agonizingly dislocate, being scalded with hot wax or flame, or being tied up hand and foot to be dunked in water to see if they will float or sink. These assaults on the body were all applied in order to extract the victim’s confession. Many victims died from repeated torture, some were raped in jail or by their torturers, and others perished in prisons from lack of medical care, food, and warmth. The spectacle of public executions in which people were burned alive, or hanged, or strangled before being burned, drew crowds who must have silently feared their own vulnerability in a culture bent on controlling its citizens through intimidation and fear by this public eradication of evil. 
The ordeals inflicted by the inquisitioners created a climate in which the integrity of no body was valued. Minds weakened by repeated agonies of torture provided their judges with the "confessions" required to justify the mortification and destruction of the living bodies of innocent people. Kramer & Sprenger made sure that even the silence of a victim under torture was viewed with suspicion. “Unless God, through a holy Angel, compels the devil to withhold his help from the witch,” they write, “she will be so insensible to the pains of torture that she will sooner be torn limb from limb than confess any of the truth.”  That her silence indicated her innocence was never considered. The "truth" the inquisitors were after was an elaborate mythology created from their own superstitions and projected fears that insisted on the witches' nocturnal flights to the sabbat where they were purported to have held their meetings where they had sex with Satan and subsequently denounced the faith. This mythology, in turn, was fed by folk beliefs that assigned magical and supernatural powers to natural events. Richard Kieckhefer argues convincingly that in the era from 1300-1500, popular belief in sorcery and witchcraft did not include the devil or diabolical pacts and practices; rather, it was the learned ecclesiastic tradition that created the theory of diabolism and devil worship. Once it was believed that people could (with the help of the devil, and with God's permission) manipulate invisible malevolent powers, anyone could be accused of raising storms; causing the death of infants, people, and livestock; causing impotence & infertility or making penises disappear; making people vomit up metal objects and pins; dry up breast milk; and make crops fail.
These many stories became embedded in the collective consciousness and, in turn, formed the content of so-called confessions that were extracted under humiliating and bone-breaking torture. The victims of torture were led to believe that the telling of these tales would lessen, or even stop the torture, but instead it sealed their doom. The judges, jailers, and inquisitors, well-versed in the mythology of their own beliefs, did not shy away from the practice of putting words into the mouths of these pain-wracked victims to satisfy their own need for a "confession." Victims under torture were forced to name others, a sure way of expanding the ring of accusations, torture, "confessions", and executions. Witch-hunters and witch-prickers who supposedly could identify the devil's mark on a body by stripping and shaving the person and inserting a needle into any discolored or raised lesion, were handsomely paid for their work of finding witches. The economic incentives for torturing and executing suspected "witches" could be lucrative since the property and goods of people executed for witchcraft inevitably went to the Church or state.
The courts and the persecutors eagerly exploited common fears in periods of hardship — the natural calamities of farming were ascribed to bewitchment — hunger, want, illness, and death would turn neighbors, and families, against each other. The Papal Bull of 1484 insisted on the clergy preaching directly to the faithful and on the "correcting, imprisoning, punishing, and chastising" those deemed not to follow the faith. State administrations supported the church in its efforts to tighten control over people's minds. Inflammatory sermons by clergy who formulated and then spread the notions of sabbats, demon lovers, cannibalism, and nocturnal flights, incited the populace to accusations at the same time as they informed the content of "confessions." Bishop-electors and prince-electors wielded considerable power in spearheading and perpetuating persecutions in their territories. Princes, Kings, Bishops, and Popes all added the heft of their stations to the persecutions, aggrandizing themselves in their ever growing and competing power-base. By the 16th century, the wealthy were also accused of witchcraft and witch accusations turned into a powerful weapon for social revenge. Witch trials flourished in areas where the legal systems were weaker, and ended in areas where the burden of evidence was greater. What continued to drive the persecutions was an ideology framed by superstition, and a particular self-righteous venom that brewed in the ink-pots of theorists and theologians.  Ecclesiastic authority and dehumanizing torture allowed inquisitors and judges free reign in their belief that they were actively ridding the faith of evil.
-  Barstow, Anne Llewellyn, 10 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward, 162 < go back >
-  Violence against people who are different from the norm or grey masses seems endemic. In South Africa of the 21st century black lesbians are "correctively" raped. Often this is arranged by their own families. In Europe of the 1100s up to the 1700s, people who were different or lived on the edges of society as loners, healers, conjurers or practitioners of magic, were targeted by Church and society alike, and burned as witches. Those who abhor and fear diversity set out to destroy others. < go back >
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Belief, Fear & Superstition
Belief in the reality of harmful magic is a crucial element in all the persecutions, whether on the part of church, inquisitor, court, or the person accused of witchcraft themselves. Such a belief predisposed people to connect random events to cause and effect. Alizon Device was eleven years old when she used angry words at a peddler who suffered a stroke minutes later. She actually believed her words had "lamed" him and admitted guilt of witchcraft.  A Scots woman was accused of witchcraft and burned to death because she was seen stroking a cat at the same time as a nearby batch of beer turned sour.  People who testified either against others or in their own trials, enjoyed their "fifteen minutes of fame" by telling outrageous stories, maybe the only time in their otherwise simple lives that so much attention was lavished on them and the irony is that their testimonies inevitably let to their own executions. It was believed that witchcraft ran in families, and was passed on from grandmother to mother to daughter, and even to in-laws.
In the minds of Early Modern Europeans the malevolent world of invisible forces took on an assumed reality alongside real hardships and disasters. Fear and superstition created a link between the visible and invisible world whereby the world and work of the seer, necromancer and magician became fatally conflated with the world of demons. The dividing line between people who believed themselves capable of practicing witchcraft, and the demonologist and inquisitor who defined the standards for accusations, became murky as the anxieties of rural people infected the fantasies of inquisitors, and visa versa. The clergy insisted on their theory of demonology whereby the devil interacts (with God's permission) with humans who became the witches of the persecutions. The people, on the other hand, made sense of their fears, hardships and aspirations through a complex set of superstitions and folklore infused with the acceptance of an unseen spiritual world. These two systems collided and colluded over the centuries of tortured "confessions" to embroider a dark and dangerous thread one onto the other. Tragically, the superstitions of both clergy and laity, set a snare for the wise healer gifted with psychic and intuitive powers. The person who practiced healing through folk wisdom and magic or who was believed to be able to lift the spells to which people ascribed their many misfortunes and ailments was suspect. So too was the midwife/healer who, while playing a crucial role in the community, was feared because of her presumed ability to manipulate invisible powers. In some parts of Europe, imitation and faking of fits of demonic possession became contagious. Hysteria led to mass accusations of bewitchment. Catholics were accusing healers and cunning people who made a living casting spells and telling fortunes, and in areas where protestantism took hold, the catholic rituals and incantations still used by common folk and healers, were seen as witchery. How did it come about that the misfortunes and maladies of ordinary life came to be attributed to Satan and his servant, the witch? Why was God not blamed?
The belief in weather magic ascribed wide-spread famine (such as in 1430s Europe) to sorcery, and thus times of hardship heralded in mass persecutions and executions. As time went by the many details of mundane misfortunes were piled onto the bandwagon of witchcraft: hailstorms, dead and lame animals, illness, infertility & impotence, sour beer, crop failure, lack of lactation. No longer understood as resulting from natural causes or just plain bad luck, these calamities were instead believed to be the work of witches. Fate's every blow was understood as being personally directed and a personal culprit had to be found, blamed, accused, and destroyed. By diagnosing witchcraft when calamities and misfortune struck, people led themselves to believe that they could combat the causes of hardship. 
Accusations of witchcraft relied on the dense and varied witchcraft mythology that had become established in many different regions across Europe. It cast a wide net that snared people into maliciously pointing to their enemies and rivals as witches. Such accusations guaranteed dire consequences. Witches could then be variously identified by the devil's mark, extra-mammary teat, but most often, by the testimony and accusation of others who were accused and tortured to name names. A standard myth of nocturnal flights to the sabbat, sex with Satan, and the eating of infants embellished the stories of so-called witnesses. Once such a code of identification came into use, it could be applied with impunity, and the likelihood exists that most (if not all) people accused and destroyed for witchcraft were innocent. And it begs the question whether the "witch" would or could have existed without the witch-hunter and inquisitor?
Tragically the mythology of bewitchment erected a stage of great spectacle where people played into the hands of inquisitors and judges. Accusations, superstitions, and projections of malfeasance were performed with deadly consequences in the arena of public executions where the inquisitors and judges pulled all the strings.
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Sex, Body & Misogyny
The body of a person accused of witch craft was fair game to authorities and society alike. "Witches" were subjected to a public spectacle of humiliation and injury: they were forced to ride backwards on an ass, naked to the waist, wearing mitres painted with devils while the mob swarmed around, shouting insults and throwing stones and filth at them.  The symbolic, political, and physical body, particularly that of the female, has been in transition and flux since time immemorial. In prehistoric and early literate times attitudes to the body were linked to an embodiment of the sacred, but patriarchal philosophy and religion severed body and spirit. Instead restrictions and controls were inscribed on the body in general, and on the female body in particular. These masculinist ideals, controls, and restrictions impacted the way society perceived, feared, and treated women. Since biblical times and classical antiquity, the female and her body has been described as inferior, dangerous, and without a soul. Eve has been blamed for original sin and for its perpetuation through conception and birth.
The men of the inquisitions were no less virulent in their fear and condemnation of female sexuality. Kramer & Sprenger asserted their disdain of the female in no uncertain terms, "All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable... wherefore for the sake of fulfilling their lusts they consort with devils... it is sufficiently clear that it is no matter for wonder that there are more women than men found infected with the heresy of witchcraft... and blessed be the Highest Who has so far preserved the male sex from so great a crime."  It was believed and postulated that God permitted witchcraft more in the case of the generative powers because sexuality was already considered corrupt.  Witch trials and forced confessions often focussed on witches as the sexual slaves of Satan. Voracious & sinful sexuality was posited as an innate and dominant quality in women. Women were seen as sexually insatiable, and it was said, "Once they are old and men pay no attention to them, the women have recourse to the devil to satisfy their appetites."  That post-menopausal women were relieved to no longer have to face the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth or undesired sexual service to an insensitive or demanding husband, was clearly not recognized by the men who wrote so "knowingly" about women.
German artist Matthias Grünewald's 1469 painting, "Lovers after Death" (see image) reflects a macabre depiction of the ravages of death on the bodies of the dead lovers that, by inference, resulted from the pleasures of the flesh. (There is a toad attached to the woman's genitals). This message served to perpetuate the body as battleground by holding it and its desires in fateful tension to that of the spirit. Jesus himself advocated for body mutilation in preference to suffering the sin of adultery. In Matthew 5:27-30, he claims "If your right eye causes you sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown in hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away."  It is not surprising to see Christianity's obsessive suppression and denigration of sexuality erupt in the many scatological and pornographic testimonies of demonic sex, and in excruciating forms of torture aimed at the reproductive organs. Kramer & Sprenger were convinced that "God allows the devil more power over the venereal act than over other human acts, because of its natural nastiness, and because by it the first sin was handed down to posterity." 
Misogynistic theorists, then and until as recent as the mid 20th century, perpetuated the belief that women had less value. In 1486, Heinrich Kramer (Institoris) iterated the male perception of women as inferior when he postulated, "And it should be noted that there was a defect in the formation of the first women, since she was formed from a bent rib ... and since through this defect she is an imperfect animal, she also deceives."  Wolfgang Beringer (citing James Brain and Lévi-Strauss) argues that in dichotomic classification systems of agrarian societies, women are usually associated with changeability and disorder --nature--uncontrolled forces and danger, whereas men represent security, order and culture.  In Genesis, the power of Nature became split off from God's power. Nature, having lost her sacred footing, became associated with unbridled evil forces. Even opponents of the witch-hunts like Johannes Weyer used misogynistic characterizations of women in his defense of them, by considering so-called witches as melancholic females who needed leniency and medical care to cure them of their mental illness. 
The midwife's ability to relieve labor pains with her knowledge of herbs was seen as a direct affront to the divinely ordained pain of childbirth — "in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children..."  The woman who had inherited knowledge of the healing properties of the plants that grew in the forest, served her community as healer and midwife. She performed vital and life preserving services, but because she attended to both birth & death, she became suspect. When misfortune, illness & death were blamed on witchery, such accusations resulted in aspects of being female to be popularly associated with the witch.  The residues of pagan beliefs and rituals that formed part of folk superstitions and healing practices were demonized by the superstitions of the witch hunters whose own dark beliefs flourished under the guise of diabolist doctrine. The danger of a "witch's" power was in her perceived ability to manipulate magical forces by healing, cursing, and lifting spells. Witch persecutions curtailed women's power, whether it was her voice or her skill in the healing arts.  Helen Ellerbe argues that an aspect of the fall out of the witch hunts is that the field of the woman healer was transferred to exclusively male hands. Once accused of being witches, few women ever returned to a normal life. Reginald Scot, the English critic of the witch hunts, wrote in 1584, "At this day it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, 'she is a witch' or 'she is a wise woman'."
Almost everywhere in Europe where witches were accused and killed, the majority of the victims were women. A woman who had no legal counsel, protection by her natal family, or the support of the church, protected herself with the only weapon she knew — the sharp tongue of the curser or scold. In Britain she would be punished with the scold's bridle, an instrument that locked her head inside a tight-fitting iron cage that drove spikes through her tongue.  Max Dashu points to how female speech had become dangerous, especially when a woman expressed anger at a wrong done her. If she answered back, her defiance could be blamed for male impotence, or a dead horse, or a hailstorm. When whole families (parents, children, & grandmothers) were tortured and publicly executed, it sent a message that there was evil in our midst.
Demeaning women and sexuality became one of the common themes of evidence and testimony against women accused of witchcraft. Genital searches became an intrinsic part of many trials. Anne Wakeley said of Temperance Lloyd who was hanged in 1682, that she found "in her secret parts two teats hanging nigh together like unto a piece of flesh that a child had sucked. And that each of the teats was about an inch in length." Joan Jones claimed to have overheard Lloyd's confession "that the devil, in the form of a boy, suckled at her breast, and that the devil had had sex with her four times."  Misogynistic agism played its part, too, as it was commonly believed that women who no longer menstruated, had a build-up of evil humors in their bodies which contributed to that complex of female wickedness that turned aging women into witches.  As the embodiment of mature feminine power, the old wise woman threatened a structure which acknowledged only force and domination as avenues of power. 
Accusations of witchcraft served to denigrate the importance of the "witch" as oracle, fortune teller, soothsayer, healer, and magic worker. The arts that relied on astrology, omens, divination, and love potions had no more power than that which was assigned to it by the believer who paid for these services to get relief from life's troubling unfairness. But in the end, any woman accused of witchcraft hardly stood a chance against the men who held power over her being and body. As Anne Llewellyn Barstow argues, "...women were primarily accused by men, tried by male juries, examined by male searchers, sentenced by male judges, tortured by male jailers, burned to death by male executioners — while being prayed over by male confessors." 
-  Dashu, Max. suppressedhistories.net < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 127 < go back >
-  MALLEUS MALEFICARUM P1:Q VIII < go back >
-  Powel, Shantell, shanmonster.com < go back >
-  Matthew 5:27-30 < go back >
-  Malleus P2:Ch II < go back >
-  Malleus P1:QVI < go back >
-  Beringer, Wolfgang, 40 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 5 < go back >
-  Ellerbe, Helen, positiveatheism.org < go back >
-  Ehrenreich & English, 6 < go back >
-  Dashu, Max, suppressedhistories.net < go back >
-  Barstow, Anne Llewellyn, 28 < go back >
-  wikipedia.org < go back >
-  Powel, Shantell, shanmonster.com < go back >
-  Ellerbe, Helen, positiveatheism.org < go back >
-  Barstow, Anne Llewellyn, 9 < go back >
> VIEW ARTWORK <
Image, Critics & Skeptics
The "visible speech" (visibile parlare, according to Dante ) of church murals, stained glass windows, and illuminated manuscripts traditionally evoked simultaneously the seen and the unseen, thereby demanding a faith in the physical embodiment of supernatural beings, both good and evil. To the unlettered public, Christian art and the illustrated Poor Man's Bible, or Bible Pauperum, served as visual text that enforced the sermons and admonitions coming from the pulpits. The image, to them, was the word. Norbert Wolf suggests that the art of Giotto in the late 1200s and early 1300s created an interplay between the everyday and the celestial vision, thereby creating a previously unknown theatrical tension reflecting the religious onto an earthly plane of experience.  From the 1400s to the early 1500s, religious thought crystallized into images,  and in the flourishing mythology of witchcraft, the printing press of 1450 facilitated the dissemination of the single-leaf broadsheet with a woodcut illustration. The art of this new mass media was responsible for the wide distribution of an elaborate witchcraft iconography and reinforced images of witches riding on sticks, the whoring of witches with Satan at the sabbat, their so-called pacts, cauldrons with infant corpses, imps and familiars. These iconographic representations turned notions of witchcraft into articles of faith/fact and popular fantasy triumphed over mere theological concepts.
However, an aspect that is not usually discussed in relation to the witch hunts is the graphic realism of Renaissance art. The "drastic realism"  introduced by Giotto (1266-1337) confirmed the corporeality of the suffering flesh of Christ. The many depictions of demons and the turmoil of the damned can be argued to be reflections of the beliefs of the time, but did these images in turn affect and inform the beliefs of the self-righteous executioner? The new naturalism of Renaissance art gave credence to the physical existence of devils and gave graphic testimony to the evils of the flesh. Artists like Bosch, Bruegel, Baldung, Grünewald & others, were never short of inventive and fantastical images of human debauchery and demonic terror. Doctrine derides the body for its supposed sinfulness, then, in art, the lurid body becomes a feast for the pious voyeur. Heironymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights draws a parallel between the pleasures of the flesh on the one hand, and the demonic torments that await the damned, on the other. This dichotomy remained a vivid inspirational source for the artists who became masters in this new naturalism. The battleground of the body is clearly illustrated in Michaelangelo's Last Judgement. Replete with the agonized bodies that are literally being pulled into hell by demons, it leaves no doubt that corporeal suffering is the wages of sin at the end of days. Punishment for being human and fallible and subject to the seven deadly sins (greed, gluttony, sloth, lust, pride, avarice, and envy), became hard-wired into the Christian European mind.
In the early 1500s Matthias Grünewald's many depictions of the crucifixion in which Christ's suffering flesh is marked with festering and oozing cuts, scratches and splinters, gave sacred import to the degradation of the body. How did works like these impact the minds of inquisitors and torturers? Did they come to view the broken, bleeding, wounded body as a God-given necessity, and torture and suffering as divinely ordained? What puzzles me is how did the Christian message of love become subverted by an obsession with suffering and martyrdom that virtually embroidered itself into the very fibre of the faith. Did this obsession so inure the judges, inquisitors, and executioners that they lost all sense of compassion? Religious violence was sanctioned not only on the body of Jesus on the cross, saintly martyrs at the stake, and the damned at the end of days, but very visually and viscerally on the actual bodies of "witches". Was this the "acting out" of the many images of physical torment so luridly depicted in religious art? Can these media be blamed? The interpenetration of belief and image cannot be underestimated; the one underscored the other while faith grew and reason diminished. The realm of faith is an invisible one, but once art and literature gave embodied descriptions of the invisible world of Christianity, demons and sin came alive alongside the tortured bodies of redeemer, saints, and the sinners of the last judgement. Seeing is believing, and believing is seeing!
Some historians who suggest that the witch persecutions only started in the Early Modern Period, dismiss not only the lynchings for magical crimes and the witch executions that began in the 1100s, but this dismissal also overlooks the accelerating effect the printing press of 1450 had on the minds of those who were convinced of the physical collaboration of the devil and his servant, the witch. In 1610, Alonso Salazar de Frías wrote, "... that there were neither witches not bewitched until they were talked about and written about."  Word & Image gave (as it still does today) powerful authority to abstract ideas and imaginary characters. This counter-reality played as much part in the perpetuation of witch beliefs as did the treatises, "confessions" and the progressively solidifying witch mythology. These elements were morbidly and lethally interwoven and would continue to damn men, women, and children to excruciating torture and death for over two hundred years following the Renaissance. The critic, Michel de Montaigne, rationally stated in the late 1500s, "It is unfortunate to be in such a pass that the best touchstone of truth is the multitude of believers in a crowd in which fools so far surpass the wise in number." 
There were critics and skeptics who challenged the very existence of witchcraft and who opposed the practice of torture & execution of the accused. For example, De Montaigne wisely suggested that "after all, it is putting a very high price on one's conjectures to have a man roasted alive because of them."  Christian Thomasius in a criticism of the persecutions, reasoned in 1705 that "The punishment of occult crimes is to be entrusted to God, who can read the soul."  Often, the reaction to conscientious objectors like Johannes Weyer, was a new virulence in publishing and disseminating demonologies, followed by intensified persecutions. Weyer's words of 1563 were sanely reasoned, "The killing of witches is nothing but a massacre of the innocents."  Cornelius Loos, who was forced in 1592 to publicly recant the refutation of witchcraft he was about to publish, wrote in criticism of the trials, "Wretched creatures are compelled by severity of the torture to confess things they have never done...and so by a new alchemy, gold and silver are coined from human blood."  Balthasar Bekker of Amsterdam wrote in 1691 "There is ... no other Magic than that which is in the imagination of men; there are no Phantoms, no Divination, nor any obsession which is from the Devil".  Today James Hannam reasons that many learned skeptics were advocates of the hermetic (alchemical) tradition whose point of view sought to defend magic from the taint of diabolism rather than claiming that it was impossible.  However, despite their impassioned pleas, these critical voices were silenced, some by death, others by forced recantation, or their voices were lost in the din of self-righteousness that pervaded Europe for centuries.
-  Purgatory X, 91 according the Norbert Wolf,15 < go back >
-  Wolf, Norbert, 15, 43 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 20 < go back >
-  Wolf, Norbert, 50 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 341 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 334 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 14 < go back >
-  Levac, Brian P. (Ed.) 169 < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 89 < go back >
-  Ellerbe, Helen, positiveatheism.org < go back >
-  Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward-1989, 373 < go back >
-  James Hannam, jameshannam.com/witchtrial.html < go back >
> VIEW ARTWORK <
What Witches Be
What witches were supposedly capable of, in the minds of the persecutors and inquisitors, are legion.  Over time the varied and variegated mythology of witchcraft was fed simultaneously by folk beliefs and the demonizing effect of ecclesiastic theory that, in turn, played into the hands of the inquisitors who insisted on extracting the full compliment of these pre-conceptions from their victims who, in their turn, delivered the stories they had grown up with and that were perpetuated by pamphlets and broadsheets. Witch stories became common currency exchanged by the lay person, inquisitor, and theorist alike. Witch-lore & image coagulated into a recognizable code of characterization with local variations, emphasis or de-emphasis. Over time and place, a litany of accusations and (mis)beliefs became commonplace: it was postulated and believed that witches could fly through the air to the sabbats  in remote places where they danced, ate boiled infants, had sex with the devil, kissed his anus or his penis, and adored him by exchanging their souls for some promised riches or fortune — witches, through a pact with an evil spirit, caused harm by means of fine powders, herbs, ointments, and even words alone — a pact with the devil demanded renunciation of the faith, including desecration of the host — witches bore the mark of the devil, stigmata diaboli, that was insensitive to injury and did not bleed when pierced — the devil appeared as a dark, horned figure with hoofs and a tail — witches suckled their familiars from extra mammary teats anywhere from their armpit to their genitals — witches caused hailstorms, storms at sea, crop failure, animal and human lameness and disease and death — witches dried up or stole milk in animals and humans, cast and lifted spells, and set houses on fire — witches used sacred things, like holy water, to do harm, caused people to blaspheme and deny God and made people rave at the sight and touch of holy objects — witches caused death of unborn infants as well as the new-born and the mothers of the new-born, caused barrenness in women and impotence in men, even absconding with the member itself — witches caused a great variety of illnesses during which the afflicted vomits up solid objects such as thorns, bones, pebbles, pieces of glass, needles, & knives — witches caused dreams and nightmares, and were the instigators of unrequited love — witches could abscond with a man's penis and some even had nests full of such members — a witch's curse or scold would inevitably result in some or other calamity — witches could protect themselves from feeling the pain of torture by hiding some amulet given to them by the devil on their body, therefore they were often shaved and searched by the inquisitors — witches could affect the judge with the evil eye, therefore the accused were often led backward into the courtroom — witches could turn beer sour, prevent butter from churning, or change others into animals that they would ride to the sabbat, or change into toads themselves. In other words, witches became repositories for much wild imagining, and took blame for everything the faithful would not blame on God.
How much of witchcraft mythology grew out of common practices that became suspect, or hidden remnants of pagan beliefs and rituals, or out of superstition and fear, or out of ignorance and arrogance, or out of tyrannical ecclesiastic dogma, is debatable. What is certain, is that the practice of torture to extract "confessions" and the insistence by inquisitors that their victims name names under torture, resulted in a ripple effect that accelerated their absolute conviction that witchcraft — as they absolutely constructed it — absolutely existed.
-  While I did my research I bacame overwhelmed by the repetitive and relentless litany of "confessions" and assumptions, superstitions and just plain make-belief that held people entranced for ages. This run-on section of what witches be, mimics that litany. The mind boggles. < go back >
-  Anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages, embedded the term Synagoga Satanae into the vernacular of the mythology of witch persecutions, a term that later evolved into the witches' sabbat. (Beringer, 60) < go back >
> VIEW ARTWORK <
Much conjecture still surrounds the whole notion of witchcraft. In the twenty first century, there are some countries across our world where people, including children, are pointed out as witches and destroyed in the belief they possess demonic powers that are responsible for illness, hardship and tragedy. Today's neo-pagans claim a "tradition" that is a concoction of witchcraft and Goddess & earth religion based on the (now disputed) theory of a pre-patriarchal matriarchy. Others claim a "tradition" embedded in the witch confessions. While I support inventing new ways of relating to the sacred, some efforts to create an egalitarian and earth venerating goddess/horned-god "tradition" are unfortunately conflated with an imagined "historic" tradition of witchcraft. In the quest for new and balanced religions that strive to serve our gendered humanity better, a foundation myth does not necessarily have to be ancient or historic to have validity.
The witch we came to know from fairy tale and fable is a far cry from the woman, man, or child who lost their lives for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. The mythic witch who could draw down the moon, see with her crystal ball, foretell the future, or cast dark and dangerous spells, receded into the smoke of the pyres where real people were burned for an ideology that insisted on cleansing the faith of heretics. The psychology of the witch in the ginger bread house whose enticements of maternal sweetness turned into the dark, devouring mother, came to life long after the ashes from the last pyres had settled on the tomes of history. However, looking at the witch simply as an archetype that sets things in motion, stirs the pot, and scares the life into us, is an intellectual indulgence that risks marginalizing, or even overlooking, the very people who suffered the terror of torture and execution. The only psychological explanation I found illuminating suggests that the persecutions began at the height of priestly supremacy in Christian Europe when the Church was idealized in the image of the denatured, spotless Virgin, and its rejected shadow fell on the witch.  Yet, even this suggests that all those accused of witchcraft were female.
Like a witch's brew, the reasons for the persecutions are the many and various ingredients that the witch persecutors, torturers, scribes, judges, jailers, and executioners added and stirred together in their cauldrons of self-righteousness. And the question remains, was there ever really such a thing as a witch or witchcraft? People in Medieval Europe practiced magic, sorcery, and necromancy alongside fortune telling. Potions, that may have been poisonous or harmful, were for sale alongside spells in the belief that these remedies could influence or change the natural course of life and events. Nefarious as these practices may have been, how did their existence become so integral to religious thought? How did monotheism that attributed all power to its one and only God, allot so much power to his counterpart, Satan? At worst, there were the cunning folk with their magic, spells, curses, or potions. At best, there were the "good" witches who practiced healing and midwifery. Did these practices warrant the demonization that led to torture and death? What witches were supposedly capable of, and what they actually were, describes the great abyss into which the tortured and accused plummeted. Making historic sense of a concoction of superstition, Christian ideology, torture, legal proceedings, and political, ecclesiastic, Papal, and scholarly power-play, at best, remains illusive and incomplete. All that can be said with certainty is that actual people were believed to be witches in cahoots with Satan, and killed.
While I worked on the scroll, Roll Call, I found myself creating a counter voice to the many voices that contributed to the needless destruction of so many lives that were sacrificed over the centuries in the name of religious dogma, ideology, and theory. And I came to look at the victims of this era of witch persecutions with compassion. Compassion for their wisdom, their ignorance, their beliefs and their superstitions, but most of all for the terror they suffered. If a witch was nothing as noble as a healer, but simply an old woman with a sharp tongue, then I, too, am a witch!
'Witch 1' 2012, Majak Bredell.
46 x 183 cm,
graphite, gesso & oil wash on paper. South Africa.
Majak Bredell, May 2012
During the several years of researching the witch hunts, I did not always keep notes, and sometimes someone else's thoughts came to live in my brain as my own. If I have trespassed on another's mind-sphere, I apologise, and trust that the list of my sources at the end of this catalogue will suffice to honor any contribution to my thinking.
> VIEW ARTWORK <
- Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. 1994. Witchcraze: a new history of the European witch hunts. Pandora, USA.
- Beringer, Wolfgang. 2004. Witches and Witch-Hunts. Polity Press, United Kingdom.
- Bosing, Walter. 2010. BOSCH: The Complete Paintings. Taschen, Germany.
- Budapest, Zsuzsanna. 1980. The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries. Wingbow Press, Oakland.
- Burns, William E. 2003. Witch Hunts in Europe and America: an encyclopedia. Greenwood Press, Connecticut, USA.
- Burr, George L. 2008. The Witch-Persecutions. Biblio Bazaar, USA.
- Comer, Philippe. 1999. Images of the Body. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers. USA.
- Constantino, Maria. 1993. LEONARDO: Artist, Inventor and Scientist. Crescent Books, New York.
- Duby, Georges & Perrot, Michelle Gen Eds. Pantel Schmitt, Pauline Eds. 1992. A HISTORY OF WOMEN I: From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints.Harvard University Press, USA & UK.
- Duby, Georges & Perrot, Michelle Gen Eds. Klaisch-Zuber, Christiane Eds. 1992. A HISTORY OF WOMEN II: Silences of the Middle Ages. Harvard University Press, USA & UK.
- Duby, Georges & Perrot, Michelle Gen Eds. Zemon Davis, Natalie & Farge, Arlette Eds. 1993. A HISTORY OF WOMEN III: Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes. Harvard University Press, USA & UK.
- Ehrenreich, Barbara & English, Deirdre. 1976. Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers. The Feminist Press, New York.
- Fremantle, Anne. 1967. Age of Faith. Time-Life International, Netherlands.
- Ginzburg, Carlo. 1983. The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Aggrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Johns Hopkins University Press, USA.
- Hagen, Rose-Marie and Rainer. 2007. BRUEGEL: The Complete Paintings. Taschen, Germany.
- Held, Robert. 1985. “INQUISITION”. Qua d' Arno, Publishers/Editorial. Florence.
- Kieckhefer, Richard. 1976. European Witch Trials: Their Foundations in Popular and Learned Culture, 1300-1500. University of California Press, Los Angeles.
- Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward. 1989. WITCHCRAFT IN EUROPE 1100-1700: A Documentary History. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
- Kors, Alan C. & Peters, Edward. 2001. Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History. 2nd ed. Revised by Edward Peters. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
- Kramer (Institoris), Heinrich & Sprenger, Jacob. 1928. MALLEUS MALEFICARUM: The Hammer of the Witches. 1486. Translated by Montague Summers. www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/
- Levac, Brian P. (Ed.) 2004. The Witchcraft Sourcebook. Routledge, New York.
- Levac, Brian P. (Ed.) 2006. The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe. Routledge, New York.
- Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. 2005. WITCH HUNTERS: Professional Prickers, Unwitchers & Witch Finders of the Renaissance. Tempus Publishing, United Kingdom.
- Molitor, Ulrich. 1489, 2010. De Lamiis et Pythonicis Mulieribus. Replica of original by Wierus Press.
- Néret, Gilles. 2003. DEVILS. Taschen, Germany.
- Rolfo, Stefano (Ed.) 1994. ALBRECHT DüRER. Gramercy Books, New York.
- Ronnberg, Amy (Ed.) 2010. The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images. Taschen Books, Germany.
- Roper, Lyndal. 1994. Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe. Routledge, London & New York.
- Roper, Lyndal. 2004. Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany. Yale University Press, New Haven & London.
- Rose, Elliot. 1989. A Razor for a Goat: Problems in the History of Witchcraft and Diabolism. University of Toronto Press.
- Russell, Jeffrey Burton. 1972. Witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Cornell Unibversity Press, USA & London.
- Sala, Charles. 1996. MICHAELANGELO: Sculptor, Painter, Architect. Terrail, Italy.
- Santi, Bruno. 1976. BOTTICELLI. Becocci Editore, Italy.
- Simon, Edith. 1967. The Reformation. Time-Life International, Netherlands.
- Starhawk. 1989. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. HarperSanFrancisco, USA.
- Testori, Giovanni. 1972. Grünewald. Rizzoli Editore. Milano.
- Wolf, Norbert. 2006. Giotto di Bondone: 1267-1337, The Renewal of Painting. Taschen Books.
Selected internet sources
- Dashu, Max. (no date) The Politics of Witchcraft Studies. (accessed 22 July 2012)
- Dashu, Max. 1998. Witches and Neighbors: The Social Cultural Context of European Witchcraft, by Robin Briggs, Reviewed by Max Dashu. (accessed 22 July 2012)
- Ellerbe, Helen. (no date) The Witch Hunts: The End of Magic and Miracles 1450-1750 C.E. (accessed 22 July 2012)
- Hannam, James. 2007. The Decline of the Witch Trials in Europe. (no longer available on 22 July 2012)
- Powel, Shantell. 1998. Thou shalt not suffer a woman to live: the reasons behind the hiding of women's sexuality during the witch craze. (domain no longer available on 22 July 2012)
Names & Trials
> VIEW ARTWORK <
published 22 July 2012 at http://www.trans-end.org.za/