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Reign Of The Demonologists 1

However great the flow, it will ebb. —Irish proverb [Wood-Martin, 278]

After 1560 the witch-hunters' reign of terror escalated precipitously all over Europe. [Larner, 22] Even
in the far reaches of Russia, the sorcery-obsessed tsar
Ivan IV was mounting witch trials under repressive
new laws. From 1560 to 1700 the persecution would
ravage most of the continent. It flamed and burned,
sank to embers, flared again, and again; climaxing, it
sagged, then sharply reasserted itself, and slowly, at
long last, waned. The climax of torture-trials and
burnings varied from country to country, even
region to region. Throughout, the church-generated
doctrine of satanism governed the witch-hunters’
war on women.
The conflict between Protestant and Catholic
occasioned a brief lull in the persecution. Then came
“a massive resumption of trials,” beginning in the
newly Protestant regions. [Monter, c 91]

Torture and immolation of witches in Switzerland

Lutherans and Calvinists incited witch burnings in that more than 400 were burned, all with devil's
Germany and Switzerland from the 1540s on. In the marks. [De Lancre, then Gregoire, in Lea, 1303;
same period, a big upsurge of witch trials swept Baroja 116]
England and Scotland in the wake of royal witch The witch frenzy got worse in the 1580s, with
Acts. The Catholic reformation stepped up its own “lengthy and detailed records, year after year, of
persecutions, affecting Germany, Switzerland, witch trials and executions.” [Summers, Geo, 402]
France, Italy and Spain. In the Spanish-ruled Low Big hunts broke out in Switzerland, Holland,
Countries, emperor Philippe II made inquisitorial Belgium, and parts of Germany. It was a bad time
methods official in 1570, defining sorcery as lèse over much of France, where fanatical witch-judges
majesté divine: “treason against god.” [Muchembled, stoked the fires: Remy in Lorraine, Le Loyer in
22] Anjou, Bodin in Lyonnais, Boguet in Franche-
The French state began prosecuting witches more Comté, Gaulmin in Bourbonnais, and de Lancre in
aggressively during the reign of Henri II in the mid- Guyenne and Labourd. And “in almost all cases, the
1500s. The 1539 ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts sanction adopted is condemnation to the stake.”
decreed inquisitorial procedure as the legal standard. [Mandrou, 74; 93] In 1582, eighteen witches were
[Muchembled, 95] The number of people executed burned at once in Avignon. [Lison, 336] In the
increased over the next few Henries, up to the sixth 1590s, Scotland, Denmark and the Basque country
(1589-1610). Bordeaux and Rouen were big burning were plagued by hunts. [Levack]
centers in this period, according to their municipal Even in these times, a considerable number of
archives. In southwest France, three hundred witches people still valued witches who healed and helped.
were tried in the year 1572 alone. [Brocard-Plaut] Preachers and jurists strove to silence their
The Parlement of Toulouse put more witches to testimony. Early in the century the German priest
death in 1577 than it did for all other crimes Geiler von Kaysersberg had preached that beneficent
combined over two years. The lawyer Gregoire wrote witches should be burned. Another condemnation of

REIGN OF THE DEMONOLOGISTS 2 blessing witches came from bishops meeting at whether they they have wrought injuries or not. where roughly one-half of the with the clergy: witchcraft cases that reached the Parliament of Paris on appeal involved accusations of magical healing. c 161-70] superseded by a harsher Saxon law of 1572 which order that all “sorcerers and witches who renounce God and bind themselves to the devil are to be burnt Anne Hendrichs was bound to a ladder and thrust face-first into the fire. she whereas they flie unto the other in necessitie.. Men doe commonly hate and spit at the In 1568 a well known good witch was arrested and damnifying sorceror. the older Carolina code was witchcraft. a Protestant states also used witch hunts to repress frenzy of trials that claimed five lives. Amsterdam. Cambridge Studies of witchcraft depositions in Switzerland. 1571. The good wise-women: witch was among them. England. The because in ministering to people. 142] These ecclesiastical [Robbins 1978: 109 fn 229] In 1584 the Imperial incitements soon translated into increased legal Free City of Besançon promised “exemplary penalties and prosecutions. Switzerland. [Monter. Schleswig-Holstein. [Levack. In a 1599 tract on . hoping to put them through the [Discourse of the Damned Art of Witchcraft. they competed same was true in France. chastisement” to all who practiced beneficent In Germany. professor. [Lea. put in the pillory in Jussy. Austria. it were a thousand times better for the land if all 127 fn to 26 and 27] witches. as unworthy to live among them. denounced her. Puritan clergyman. The town gave itself up to salvation was used to justify attacks. But for a such a woman to appeal to the judiciary was As in anti-Semitic ideology. . the danger to christian literally playing with fire. Furious. in Hole] same indignity of public abuse and hurled refuse. [Monter. c 185] William Perkins. they depend upon him [sic] as their God.” Salzburg in 1569. and witch-pricker of the late 1500s. Scotland and wanted good witches done away with precisely New England reveal that many of those who were prosecuted for witchcraft were in fact wise women. but especially the blessing witch. The Jesuit demonologist Martin Del Rio agreed with his Protestant enemies on this point. and by this means in turn accused those she suspected of having thousands are carried away to their final confusion.. might suffer death.

in Walker. 771] .” which he called “inconstant” and “wicked.” inhumanity of the witch trials in De Praestigiis [Mora. Bonomo. At the same time. 1089?. [Quaife.” who imagined the afoot. 241] executed even though they killed no one.405. worn secretly caused disease through witchcraft in order to out. [Wedeck. Boguet claimed that healing witches wrote that the devil “especially seduces stupid. poor old women. disabled. 509. He blessing witches. imprisoned. 538-40. judged the old women by words forced from their Protestant and Catholic. Jean Bodin tried This mixture of pity with contempt reappears in to have Weyer burned at the stake. feathers.” and demons heavy penalties on perplexed. He thought the diabolist stories were “the demon. [Psycho monarchia Dæmonu m. t. 3 witchcraft he maintained that witches had to be [Lea. Chrysostom and Paul “concerning the credulity and frailty of the female The German doctor Johan Weyer protested the sex. he accused witches. women who confessed to witchcraft were ignorant as public support was cut away from true witches. papal Index of forbidden literature. degraded and tortured. I. Many pious christians with no magical scrambled.o] get credit for curing the problem. 8. 56.” [De forced him to leave town and retire to his lands. As mass believed in diabolical pacts. 137] They were not practitioners of the magic arts. Weyer himself reputation also fell prey to the torture-trial. he scoffed: “What proof have you began to allow torture trials.” of Agrippa. harmed no Weyer was no admirer of the persecution's crops or animals.” having sex with women were “purely imaginary.” [Mora. 28] This In Weyer's opinion. succeeded if the duke of Clèves had not protected Although the Protestant Johann Georg Godelmann him as his personal physician. 181.” [Mora. The Weyer advised governments not to “impose “confessions” were “pure fables. magis. even though he stuck his neck out in their simply because (in his opinion) they worked with the defense. 233] to be punished at all? After they had been libeled.926 demons in 72 batallions. the man who wrote that there were 7. the holocaust. or poor. [Levack. 154] He called the ancient Pythias and women being tried as witches. Paradoxically. His book was put on the bleeding mouths. homeless or impossible things because their brains were homosexual. after all. even though he knew that they Diabolism was used to criminalize the healing and were forced to recite them in torture sessions. 245] He was. Pots. It was enough to be a masters of their own senses. veneficis et famiis (1591) in Lea.” the “deluded confession of were to be considered evidence that sorcery was demoniacally possessed old hags. [Hoyt. 385] “DEFENDERS” OF THE ACCUSED Weyer cited Augustine. victims. believing they do woman and old. Weyer attempted to save the lives of [Bever. locks of hair and such follies of old women. knots. He thought the devil Sibyls “devil's prophets. melancholy. A student the devil” but that women were “used by the devil. and suffering from the uterine disease of more and more victims of the hunts were non. 259-60] diabolist fantasies. and was convinced that trials widened the net. and would have the writings of other opponents of witch-hunting. called up no spirits of the dead-. 21] had instigated the atrocities of witch-hunting. unstable old women. the “silly and miserable” accusation became general by 1600. the man outpouring of vitriol from the lawyers and who has been regarded as their foremost defender theologians at the forefront of the persecutions. Accusations that Weyer that witches make pact with the demon? Only the had caused the duke's melancholy by witchcraft confessions of stupid and deluded old women. 181] He thought that male magicians “use Daemonu m (1563) and De La miis (1577).” (Did it seem unthinkable that it was unjust for them [Mora. [Robbins. Ranke-Heinemann. Weyer's protests drew an international harassed. 67-8] But objected to the “insufferable torment” inflicted on after duke William suffered an apopleptic fit. people who would never have he had personally kept the devil from carrying off a been accused during the middle ages were swept into maiden.

” too. the doctor of king Henri III. 4 These attitudes were widespread among liberal lack of education.” [Bever. 163] Early modern scientists embraced this medical- biological determinism as doctrinal. it transmitted the canons of male supremacy intact. opposed the or healing was “vanitie.] It was “their lewdnesse. Italian and French demonologists claimed that loverless old women became witches. and to “base” people's demonology percolated into the consciousness of . nor understandging of how the hand or lip of a lewd old woman. Notions of female possession by devils transferred easily to theories about “hysteria. In the minds of educated men. 157] and drink. whose sexuality was mocked and whose power was especially feared once they reached menopause.” [Quaife.” to senility.” [Mandrou. It could be laid to women's “humors burgeoning industry of witch-craze pamphlets. degraded through sexual insults hurled for centuries. whether they were priests or doctors or lawyers or professors. abuse. Though rationalist science is ordinarily thought of as breaking with religious dogma. In Scot's eyes. to roast people alive for them. the neighbors rebuked when old women begged for food others desiring to. Professors and doctors remained as threatened by menstruating. pregnant and menopausal women as the early priests had been. and Scots' book was the first on witchcraft published in contempt. and forbidden behaviors. for the witch to doctors who were skeptical of witchcraft. witchcraft was linked to old women.” His Discoverie of Witchcraft hunts.” emotional disorders claimed to originate in the womb. In both systems. female sexuality was the cause of disorder. that stupid people. 1580. some caring little if they die. 73] Reginald Scot agreed that there was no substance In the wake of the Malleus Maleficarum and a to witchcraft. trials. The repetition is ritualistic: femaleness and age are contemptible. Scot observed that women were suspected of being witches after “the stopping of their monthly melancholic flux or issue of blood. THE DEMONOLOGIST JUDICIARY It is rating our conjectures too highly Printers fed the demand for gossip about witches. they might be affected by torture. [Pollock. and executions ——Montaigne [Russell II. 154. He wrote that witches are only “poor English. Pierre think that she could call on powers of foreknowing Pigray. In 1589 he and three other doctors played a (1584) exhorted readers in the tones of early part in freeing fourteen witches accused before the christian patriarchs: “that the glorie and power of Parlement of Tours. disease. But Pigray had no empathy for God be not so abridged and abased as to be thrust into the targets of the craze. 206] German broadside on witch-burnings. melancholicall.

where he presided for another fifteen years. behind her own children. [Baroja. [Monter. “showing that wisdom never [insert Montaigne] comes from women. A second wave of witch. “To punish Rémy recorded his ferocities in the witches with the Dæmonolatreia. written while vacationing in the utmost rigor”: countryside. gender was an outright liability to the Jean Bodin women. sex. The climate of censorship was Hobbes went further. Many with my own eyes the sorceress' rapture and their of the authors were still diabolist judges. since he thought that the children had been . In his eyes. poverty witch-judge and were never admissible as extenuating circumstances. his definition of the family (“a so overreaching that a good Catholic like Descartes little monarchy”) left the mother out entirely. and internationally. 239] had sex with the devil. 45] Bodin declared that men have more Apprehensive that it would be proscribed by the brains and prudence than women.” Bodin believed that fifty women were witches for [Bonomo. eating their flesh. he enough. came from Jove's head. 115] He called for Another notorious witch-exterminator was witches to be burned “over a slow fire. [Coudert.. who greatly outnumbered the men in the prisons and at the stake.” force-marched around the stakes where their [Bonomo. murdered unbaptised babies and impale Jeanne or burn her at the stake. while vulnerability and fear immobilized beneath the servants.” [Bonomo. This single judge executed more than 3000 people as witches between 1571 and 1606.. jurist. he withheld publication for years. the ruthless [Bonomo. 251] every male. Bodin's Republique (1576) puts the wife dead last The ambitious wielded diabolism to achieve power in the household hierarchy. 5 learned men and officials. “out of the anger they have. a secular judge at Nancy. His demonological polemics. caused famine. He declared: “I believe that for whoever wants to tie the devil's arms. He amused himself by writing the confessions of his torture victims in Latin verse. it will be necessary to take women out of the world. The proof? Pallas papal index. Bodin was part of the tribunal Démono manie de Sorciers (1580) and Le Fléau des that tried 50-year-old Jeanne Harvillier of Demons et Sorciers (1616) catalogued the doctrinal Compiègne for magical killings of people and accusations against witches: that they dedicated animals.) was afraid to publish his scientific opus Du Monde. and fortune. He considered its reality proven catholic Europe. even this was not have to answer for his own lust and anger. After long discussions over whether to children to the devil.” [Cixous. 10] now applied Inquisitorial ideology in state-run trials. the judges other humans. he condemned over 900 “witches” to death from 1576-90. scientist. but they consorting with demons. He explained that this was due to Rémy described how he had children stripped women's “bestial cupidity. 250] Rémy wrote that age. [Bonomo. demonologist In actuality. De la worst of all. 240-1] “impiety and idolatry” to doubt the satanic Bodin's demonology was a roaring success all over witchcraft doctrine. unabashedly confessed his “fantastic desire to see hunting books burst on the scene about 1570.” strong appetites and naked and their backs beatend with rods as they were desire for vengeance. 505] boast. 123] (Thomas those who opposed it.” since they Nicholas Rémy. By his own were destined for an eternity in hell. who are closer to the nature of Witch-judge Jean Bodin claimed that it was animals. Then he was appointed prosecutor general of Lorraine. [Robbins. 240-1] The witch-hunter himself did not mothers burned. Into the 20th century historians by the perfect agreement of torture-confessions lauded him as a great philosopher. and condemned her to be burned alive.

he felt inquisitorial procedure. because the devil was preventing the witch Henri Boguet also countenanced the torture of from being reconciled with god. Diricq hands. bodkins. While demonologists pictured sentences by half. judges assumed hidden devils' marks. In For the demonologists. If she did not shed tears. who This was only the preliminary ordeal. Still. According to his own account (1602) he it was his duty to suppress it.” [9] raped them. sentences pronounced by the 24 criminal judges. 66] Levack witches as the devil's sexual slaves. and they were forced to parrot back the places in regions that recognized no right of appeal. In a society zeal. with the Devils if it wasn’t true?” [Mandrou. They refused to accept retractions after In Franche-Comté to the south. [Mandrou. 118] He confess. magistrates hunted witches unchecked. that proved that a charm of taciturnity was ordered his prisoners to be shaved to uncover any in effect. Their sexual parts were singled out demonologist judges. gashed. They cut his death the torture chamber. it was traumatic enough for women to have comments that frequently the secular ruler had to strange men uncovering and searching their private intervene in the bishopric “to soften the rigor of parts and pricking them with needles. Bishop's courts were among the harshest that expected women to cover all but their faces and tribunals. 131] Professional rivalry was still a factor. Early modern scientism grew out of the doctrinal slant of doctors. 27] Rémy sentenced to death at least one child who By 1570 secular judges had fully absorbed confessed to going on these excursions. though most of those accused were no longer true witches. officials process was to curbing the bloodshed wreaked by and executioners. them. hunters' sadistic fantasies of devil-sex. marks were due to natural causes and which were whose slave and whore she was. If the judge felt pity. complete with diabolist regrets. Baroja noted the “terrifying lack of feeling” in was proof that she was a witch. and impaled them Secular judges could be equally vicious. a dramatized would have willingly subjected to the iron claw justification for their arrest. inspired by the devil. Boguet wrote that the devil spoke through jurisdiction over witchcraft. De Lancre. The same process was at work in Switzerland. Physician oversight of witch RAPE-TORTURE prosecution was standard not only in Catholic Switzerland but in Protestant England. Writing of French Switzerland. their captors shaved them with razors. 104-7] authentically diabolic. It was therefore necessary to torture them. [find p #] Boguet and Remy all elicited reports of the hugeness This was why the hunts ravaged Germany. awls. this too girl. It was cold as ice and made patch-work of sovereign counties and bishoprics. 6 taken to satanic gatherings and dedicated to the outside intervention eliminated. children. A doctor determined which she was lying and deceiving. The worst witch hunts took for torture. the zealous devil.” His ardent description of . a of the devil's member. Boguet with instruments of torture. female sexuality itself was 1525 the government of Poschiavo abolished church diabolical. would have inflicted a much higher toll of executions Diabolist ideology generated myths of sexual if the local Parlement had not started reviewing torture by the devil that paralleled the secret acts of witchcraft sentences in 1599. mythology. witch-judge torture. Once the women were [breast-rippers] all the accused that passed before imprisoned. He had been too lenient toward children. [Barstow. [WoW. and seared. in state-run “And how would they confess to having copulated trials of Savoy and Inquisitorial trials in Italy. [Mazzali. sex terribly painful for the woman. The sexual obsessions of witch-hunters were writ The judiciary was saturated with demonological large across the bodies of their victims. lest he be suborned by had presided over the agonies of an eight-year-old the devil's tricks. in actuality demonstrates how crucial the existence of an appeals accused witches were raped at will by jailors. With the last chance of women's “shameful parts. If she refused to Boguet's descriptions of these trials. Whatever the accused said.

by reason the witches have confessed themselves. demon coupling with her. lesbian sex. [Davidson. blasting and wasting. the perpetrators could boast defines “Witch or hagg” as an evil woman in league and laugh with each other about their “Discoverie of with the devil. Geo] By this reasoning.” dauncing.. that the Divell doth licke them with his tong in some privie part of their bodie. before he dooth recyve them to bee his servauntes which marke commonlie is given them under the haire in some part of their bodie. Because of their “whoredom. A church's demonization of clitoral pleasuring..” [Mandrou. fn 69] women rubbing their vulvas against objects such as staves. daliance and diuerse other deuelish lustes captors felt they could do anything to accused and lewd desports. they could be produced her sweete hart. Further. whereby it may not easily bee founde out or seene. Grün produced numerous pornographic engravings of naked witches.. glimpse of rape in the torture chambers escapes from this transparent rationale. sporting. One depicts an old woman straddling a young one who is peeking out from between her own spread legs. According to the British pamphleteer who authored Newes from Scotland: And for as much as by due examination of witchcraft and witches in Scotland. [Summers. Demonologists often fantasized devilish sexual . usually with a theme of the old witch as corrupter of young women. justified as a matter treatise Symbolæographie (1594) defines magic arts of duty by men of faith. bankqueting. because only when the witch-hunters A New Years card by Baldung Grün encodes the see the “marke” will she confess anything. The lesbian theme recurs in 17th- century witch-scenes. In private. West dwells on the witch's could be made to serve as a sign of pact with the unashamed lust. the searchers must take a long time checking that privy part under the hair in a certain part of the woman's body. 147. 150-1] Continental diabolism influenced English witch Genital “searches” had become a routine part of demonologists such as William West. within the gaol as the powers of male magicians and wizards. times grabbed with her hand the 'member' of the but forbidden by the church: cunnilingus. she spends “all the night after with devil. but and torture-chamber..” Any physical marks or irregularities continental brethren. A drawing by Hans Baldung Grün shows a dragon-devil licking an aroused woman between her legs. in playing. Another young woman is rubbing her sex against the elder's hip while stroking herself. with total impunity. 1515. it hath lately beene founde that the Divell dooth generally marke them with a privie marke. 7 one witch's adventures alleges. 23-3] women.”[Ewen. although they be searched. and if none were found. through torture. it is crucial that the searchers examine the woman's private parts. Like his Witchcraft. “She had numerous encounters as acts which were pleasurable to women. His legalistic the investigation of witchcraft.

Their “search” crushed her Fribourg had witch-marks on her genitals. The jailor ate most of their food. “If I have a in 1559 say that the devil had sex with them many mark.. rubbing it Sexual repression had become so entrenched that against her vulva. performs a rite with a gigantic bundle of flax. vulva and vagina as deviant and therefore suspect. A snapping her fingers at the judges. especially. 213] with symbolic characters “concealed in her person” When body-searchers declared that a woman of while shaving her. claiming that everyone tormentors said they found a piece of parchment had such bodily imperfections. Signs of diabolic pact were always to be found in the A Belgian witch of “good works” was tortured in victims' genitals.” The record Scotswoman from Newbattle “challenged the entire indicates that this witch was broken by rape. and treated her very badly.” [Levack. “as a pimp would do with his girl.” [Monter. rype and search our bodies and secret memberis for witchmarkis. the sex was more pleasurable than with the diabolist execution of her neighbor. taking them from the front and rear. The women strenuously objected to the idea that “sometimes sleeping and sometimes defiantly there was anything devilish about their bodies. Torture. The labia minora. Connecticut. scratching her on the face and other parts of her body. along with two or three devils. one with legs splayed. an old witch sat in leg irons.. Mary Staplies challenged account. as the record implies: “the demon came that women. 19-20] Open secret that it was. She demanded to examine her body for the whippings. testimony of jailor rape trickled into the record. while a young woman straddles an oven fork. But the devil punished the witches with Knapp. She interpreted as teats sucked by demonic familiars..” But vaunted witch-teats and declared that they were “no these beatings actually took place in the witch. 8 night to her in her cell. where they In a 1515 drawing by Hans Franck.” The ostensible reason for the “devil’s” attack was displeasure at her “confession” that she had killed more than 200 babies. [Lea. Goody mortal men. The bailies of Culross had attacked the two of them outside their legal jurisdiction. refused to yield during three torture-sessions. [Register of the Privy Council. she resistance. it is God who has made it.” [Diricq 143] In times. 161] Several The trial records of five witches burned at Lisbon other Swiss women told the judges. 128] . dishonoring her with many hurtful words. and dragged them through the streets to jail. Mary Cunningham appealed for justice for herself and her daughter in Scotland. many pact. 1644.” [Karlsen. but were given only sackcloth to wear in the cold dungeon. emphasis mine] women would be witches. Her theory of the Devil's mark. and tore a skirt she was wearing into pieces. And when they hade putt us in prisone they causit their officeris and hangman tirre us mother naked. Two other witches are sprawled in the witch-hunters saw the natural anatomy of the ecstasy. [Cunha. resulting in a confession of diabolical protested. Cal 54] The mother and daughter were not allowed to put their own clothes back on. In this New Haven.. were the presence of the councillors of Bruges. or any other prisons. more teats than I myself have. “if this was a sign of witchcraft.

Interrogators shackled their prisoner at the arms.” coffins embedded with long. breast-rippers.” [MTHW. 95 years of age. legs. In Neuchâtel. and they rarely survived the ordeal. or attempting it. They forged body-shackles that pierced the prisoner's flesh or locked her legs above her belly so that her private parts were exposed. [Held. sharp spikes covered all its surfaces.” [Monter. called it “the unfailing witch chair. then their innocence.” heretical preachers in the mouth. heating the iron to incandescence beneath the victim's buttocks and genitals. The great 19th century historian of the hunts. [Monter. [Bonomo. Sexual Gotter Ness. to torments she has endured according to Imperial law. Perrenon Debrot broke out of jail and tried to kill herself with a knife when recaptured. This invention caused indescribable agony. the “Pear”—to [Lea. dagger-like spikes that pierced the prisoner's body as the device's doors closed upon her. who fled on fire-tortured feet and was captured three miles away atop a cliff rendered nearly inaccessible by brush. 25-27] In the late 1500s German torturers devised the Witch's Chair. or the unnamed German woman the accused were girls or elders of advanced age. “despite the open for maximum agony. and chest. but was recaptured. cervix and uterus. [Lea?] So was Giovannina of Triora. 9 They built “Iron Maidens. a considerable number ended their torture by committing suicide. ripping the vagina. Bellezza Orsini. Marguerite Lambert of Neuchâtel shoved it into the “witch’s” vagina. 1161. imprisoned on bread and water. The from Neusse. another woman strangled herself in her cell. 1156] The tortured women often attempted to escape. whether Agnes Sampson. Henry Charles Lea. Iron plates studded with long. . Margot de la Barre. They did this to men in the anus. who withstood her engineers of torture invented horrific machinery— torturers long enough to eventually win release. sharp metal wedges. c 93] Trial records show that the most courageous Witch hunt officials were obsessed with wounding prisoners under torture were often old women: and punishing the female sexual organs. Torturers heated this iron tool in fire. This diabolical She was banished and ordered “not to avenge herself specimen bears demonic decorations. Few could withstand it without confessing. then slid fire-pans under the seat. all the while maintaining The Pear. screwing its parts would not yield to her torturers. filed through her chains and managed to slip out of the jail. Others endured unbearable tortures with incredible fortitude. in any way for her imprisonment. 259-60] Where escape was impossible. torture was the linchpin of the witch trials. 1172] tear the “witch's” body apart. c 93] Barbara Hanssen of Germany.

131-2] The repression growing out of the witch hunts. The hugely influential books of way toward transferring them to the devil. but possession. a bit of the witch. Exorcists called witches. Nor did it interfere with the explosion of catholic teaching. Menghi moved on to other pastures. while his polar opposite. Its lion's share of these trials were in areas (Naples. and laymen got involved. and might be exorcized instead of being tried as a witch. the relationship to those persecutions varied: a woman Friuli) that were came late to witch-hunting. the priests worried that lay practitioners Inquisition abandoned witch-burnings. especially when they used christian trappings. 1590s. but not witch would undermine priestly authority and stray from trials. The clergy did not feel threatened by these free-lance exorcists as they did by witches. incarnated the powers of evil. 114] Menghi was more successful as an and. offered a way to dramatize women’s powerlessness [Romeo. ritually subjugating the devilish female over long centuries. where the priesthood was still struggling to establish or exorcists might urge the possessed to denounce its ascendancy over animism. Eventually the Roman magic. In the Dutch towns often tried and banished them. One of his In this paradigm. the priest was the channel for spectacular failures was a six-month-long attempt to godly power. Romeo describes them as “a bit of the doctor. however. Manuals of exorcism witches’ powers. though diabolism had gone a long sold like hotcakes. author than as an exorcist. the abuses of power they committed. Exorcism exploded across France. church authorities tolerated lay exorcists. as in the French convent cases. To the end he sang the praises of epic battles with devils and warned exorcists not to lower their guard against the devils and those who disparaged their practice. showcase priestly dominion. Undeterred. Many doctors declared that the man had never been possessed but suffered from organic causes. the possessed exorcize a prominent man in Lombardy in 1585. The Roman Inquisition prosecuted a few exorcists as The wave of exorcism was a new strategy of “necromancers” around 1590. Exorcism demonologists like Nider. Secular freelancers were quick to cash in on the profitable market in exorcism. But the the monk Girolamo Menghi drew on old-school idea of female agency still lingered. [GH-F. as they did the witch-hunting benandanti. 122] It was monks and priests who had inculcated possession. the Italian 121] Inquisition substituted exorcism for witch-burning as Because animist tradition survived in popular an anti-diabolical specific. 138. or witches were blamed for causing the duivelbanners proliferated in the Netherlands. [145. at the same time. however. 10 THE EXORCISTS secular burnings. woman. writes Giovanni Romeo.” [153] In the main. It was a very different thing for males to exert ritual power. Menghi himself remarked that . Italy and The hunts had not diminished society’s belief in Germany in the late 1500s. late 1500s. A few half-hearted attempts were made to quell Italian exorcis m scene. [Romeo. Kramer and Sprenger. The four minor orders of exorcists could not handle the burgeoning demand.

[all Ginzburg I. Romeo writes that doctors displacing the witch's position among the common “did not disdain collaboration with exorcists. incense. potions and daemonum interpreted bodily ailments such as pains salves. 141. an all-male group of priests. and enjoyed a booming practice in Italy of the early 1600s. belly. houses and baths. freelance exorcists. [Brocard 152] One Swiss tome offered Even Menghi. 167] Exorcism rapidly ballooned into a profitable industry mined by clerics and laymen alike. continued his obsession as bishop of Geneva.” [Romeo. wine. so many that in the city of Udine alone twenty-one exorcists would not be able to handle all the cases. vines. 135. 139-42] exorcism manuals should be burned. [138] These efforts were not nearly as enthusiastic as the bishops' industrious hunt for old women who compounded herbal oils. exorcists served the purposes of the clergy who were finally succeeding in turning common people against the wisewomen by “a simple substitution of operators. [Romeo. herds and flocks. Like their close relatives. acted on his advice to treat illness infused with indwelling lifeforce and pagan as diabolical affliction. 114] Church councils tried to make them “possessed. Dominican exorcist Pio Porta maintained that vast numbers of people were bewitched. 115] Rome was so renowned for its exorcists that prominent foreigners brought possessed girls there to have their demons cast out. terrified of spirits in his youth. beds. 147-8] associations. He Exorcism. Francisco Salinas. 127-8. 156-8] At long last. and harsh and other controls on them. or kidneys as signs of “sorcery. exorcists' pills and powders caused the deaths of the [Romeo. and doctors had succeeded in cunning man. Within a short period of time it had insinuated itself into the fabric of Italian society. 1512 expended much energy on exorcism and finding good exorcists. enemas. the dean of exorcists. 151-2] The exorcists profited greatly from those who believed themselves to be bewitched. wormwood and roses. St Francis de Sales.” people. [Romeo. Some even said that cathartics such as antimony. Men from all three professions collaborated though some medical writers reported that the with witch-hunting judges and regularly functioned as . Robbins. the benandanti and cunning men. in the neck. 154. perfumes. and doctor. food. [Romeo. His own manual Flagello particularly rue. killing their patients. had to formulas for banishing evil spirits from water. herbs and medicines. [Romeo. 11 many exorcists improvised like old sorceresses. The exorcists straddled the roles of priest. 395] France and Switzerland were also overrun with exorcists and their demonological manuals. This list is made up And countless others. silkworm cocoons. 150. such as the Naples exorcist mostly of things held sacred in the animist sense.” clothes. acknowledge that some of the brotherhood were salt. [Grillot.” It was common practice for exorcists hew to canonical formulas and to impose licensing to subject their clients to emetics.

155-9] glimpsed occasionally) and the old woman was dragged through the streets behind a horse to be burned at the stake. in spite of glaring devil who took the shape of a ball of thread (even at evidence that he had used the confessional to seduce this date the folkloric motif of the spinner can be young women. but only the archdeacon was forbidden to into witch-hunting. Nider and other demonologist writers. His alleged accomplices in diabolism were arrested and brutally tortured. Secular courts played out in an exorcism drama at Naples in 1574. The Jesuits exorcised her for two months. he committed suicide by throwing himself down a well. archdeacon of Bitonto from office and banished In Italy and elsewhere. terrified of being taken again. the bishop of Bitonto used similar tactics. 395] Exorcisms of the possessed Nicole Obry at Laon cathedral (1565-66) got her to “proclaim the verities of the faith” and to denounce Protestants. [Much. Demonology became the lens through which all female sexuality was interpreted. [Romeo. Under torture a story emerged of sex with the barred from the confessional. Witch porn proliferated. women but one) sent to Naples on diabolist charges. but not jars. Laura underwent continual public exorcisms during this period. priests labeled practice exorcism in future—light penalties for an a sixteen-year-old girl suffering from cramps a abuse of power that caused multiple deaths. In 1600 he was perpetually grandmother kept thousands of demons as flies in banned from exorcism and medical practice. 156-158. Meanwhile the bishop was selling absolutions and faking miracles with a crucifix that (so he alleged) Sexual abuse and witchcraft accusations were had been abused by the witches. In 1594 the A few days after marrying Giovan Battista viceroy of Naples ordered some of the prisoners (all Marsicano. whose mother Dianora soon . The people of Bitonto openly expressed their scorn for these proceedings. saying that he was a devil. the punishment of Genoan confessor Giovan emerging at last with accusations that her Battista De Felippis. as witches. In Vienna. A youth denounced by the possessed woman was violently seized. naming witches and rousing public acquitted. Laura Stella de Paladini. 12 witch-finders. In southern Italy. The bishop and archdeacon insisted that she was a witch who went to Benevento (as the demons confirmed) and went on to extract denunciations of their enemies. including some important men. He and his archdeacon detained a possessed young woman. exorcism was incorporated them. like [Romeo. several days later. jumped into the expanding witch hunt. 108] Later exorcists used possessed nuns as mouthpieces to praise Cardinal Richelieu and to bring down his enemies. Rome suspended the bishop and opinion against them. 163] this drawing by Hans Baldung Grün. for several months of experimental exorcisms inspired by Bodin. She began to long for her In the end they were tried by Roman inquisitors and previous suitor Liso. Two old women died from torture and maltreatment. S&S. So was demoniac. Laura Cataneo had come to hate him. [Robbins. 1583.

fingernails and blood. the family of the possessed Doctors also exploited their authority for sexual nieces consulted various clerics and exorcists without predation. 289-91] involving hair. he took her home and had sex exorcist. and had even helped her force. But the case was dropped. or her father's health would suffer. wearing only her slip.” By the time they got a light. leaving the door open. the vicar. and that without countermeasures new years because they were notti janaresche it would spread to his entire family and even his [‘nights of the ianare’]. couple. He ordered the girl to room. 109-11] [Lea. who after several months had no better with her. The mother father would die and she would get the same sickness. using witchcraft as a pretext. [Romeo. Now the possession spread shivering on the floor. After a public exorcism of solidarity. rushed into the room and Violante cried. stained to Laura's sister and two of Giovan's nieces and a with blood from the rape. the exorcist had Doctors could do nothing for Laura and her husband. the exorcists made Next the doctor got his patient to enlist his 20- conjurations and signs on the walls. [Romeo. requisite herbs and waters. “Ah. (Here we are The 16th-century Spanish exorcist Garci Sanchez looking at a historical break-down of female committed similar abuses. He told the man that witchcraft had certain baths were done on the night of christmas or caused his disease. the ritual required “a mutual contact of flesh. pretext for raping possessed girls. In 1579 he The doctor took the young woman alone into a exorcised Violante de Regina. lower body. He did the same the next day. The record shows. he cursed and exclaimed. how he has shamed me!” Everyone he raped her. if you want me to free ordered her to bare her breasts. and put the lights out. began to wicked physician was tolerated for many years in perform his own exorcisms. but he threatened that her they heard a heart-rending moan. Cirignolo. sent everyone else out some passes with knives. 13 came under suspicion for bewitching the married ran into the dark room to see what had happened. [Harline. Cirignolo cure.. “I that she was “losing control of her senses. the solution he proposed was for the rapist Liso and a magician. the brother of the spurned Weyer reported one case of 1567: “A remarkably husband and father of the possessed girls. then induced the castellan to sign up for a archbishop's attempts to stop him. many women came luck. Numerous clerics and doctors testified that this forward to say that he had seduced them when they was not a problem of melancholy humors but of came to him for help. 1273] In the meantime. plying him with drink so he would agree to a claimed that possessed women could be cured “if very high price. His success in Gelders and also for a while in Cologne. and if not. The family complained to fisherman's daughter. . of 1669 documents abuses by exorcists in Poland. to promise to marry the girl and pay a dowry of 20 The case was taken to the archbishop.” He told you no one comes in. She resisted.” Then mamma mia. When he was exposed. the parents were to 289] fall at her feet and beg her to obey all the doctor's It turned out that Cirignolo used exorcism as a instructions. [Romeo. however. He gave her a piece of of the room. disappeared. which confused her to the point knocked at the door. year-old daughter as a helper.” The family provided the livestock. and after rubbing and her.) The archbishop's office called in another the woman Ynés. Violante lay The exorcists also failed.” As the mother came kissing them. Everyone blamed Dianora. One ducats. People called her “sorceress and janara.” The scandal forced the Inquisition to bring her husband home once with a secret powder intervene in 1580. he made her lie down and uncover her from the kitchen with hot water for the ritual bath. When someone drugged food to eat. 128. where he mumbled conjurations and made lie face down on the ground.” The doctor suppressing possession in his own family spread his wormed his way into a noble household in the duchy fame and led to a new career. Johan success.. 37] A bishop's letter devilish spirits. in spite of the of Berg. that Cirignolo woman testified that Dianora had the reputation of a did not marry Violante but “brought her home by witch in her home village. then I'll go.

But so many complaints were made about Luis de Nazaré that he was sent for trial before the Lisbon Inquisition in 1740. competition with folk healers. and Carmelite friar Luis de Nazaré used his position as raped her. 408-9] What if any consequences were there Luis to exorcize Tomasía. [182-3] at Chaminister. He exorcism. cut off some of Portuguese monks introduced exorcism to South her hair and their pubic hair. He then moved on the others. [Mello. Among the daughter. It charges against him was “using unchaste means with turned out that Leonor was faking possession many women and maids. Not surprisingly. The inquisitors barely punished his crimes. The father consulted his daughter about what to José. 183] The door remained open for him to abuse more women. America. 181-2] Church officials refused to believe that this highly reputed Carmelite official was raping women. and that they should submit to servant woman to assist him. abused vulnerable women. 1575. Some adroitly The next day Luis got on top of the sick woman. doctors. [Weyer. lay Called to exorcise the ailing Dona Antonia de exorcists and cunning men committed them. an ecclesiastical impunity that continued through the 20 th century. making them believe he because she wanted to marry the mulato José Romeu. Spanish and made them undress the sick woman. She resisted. and spread it far and wide. ignorant women and immoral atmosphere of Brazil. Luis got the young precipitate of mercury and other harsh chemicals. can not help them without either crossing their . but blamed his actions on the rough.[Mello. required by his Bahia. woman alone in a room and induced her to have sex causing terrible pain and bringing him to death's with him by promising to bring about her marriage door. Thomas Tyher was tried and managed to rub his genitals against her. in smudging her with the smoke. then pressured her into him. often performing it over sick people. in on enslaved women. exploited the potential for abuse. In Brazil. In 1736. saying that priest-exorcist to rape countless women around it was necessary to cure Tomasía. them. He intimidated them and succeeded in raping submitting to molestation and rape. Histoires Prodigieuses. Man groping woman’s breast while restraining her during an exorcism. Luis inflicted his worst crimes tears. so he asked for new assistants. But they resisted. a slave who had fallen for this horror? sick. They sent him to a remote monastery for a few years and barred him from returning to Bahía. These patterns of abuse stretched over great distances and social contexts. but not his priesthood. [Mello. Paris. In a Lacerda. Dorset. And he did. Leonor da Silva. but he kept grabbing her. 14 In the meantime the doctor gave the sick man but her parents wouldn't allow it. a pious master called Mora. They took away his exorcist privileges. thinking her possessed. He habitually asked for a “clean and neat” exorcism manual. the more force the “she was flushed with shame and ready to burst into monk was able to use. He confessed. Tomasía died. Luis took aside her unmarried sister and Dorset case of 1616.” the whole story came pouring out. and burned them. for performing abortions for Another family brought him in to exorcize a unmarried women and prostitutes. it was a male empiric who molested her. the telling the “assistants” to look the other way. Priests. The monk had her moved to another building The clergy reestablished its monopoly over and asked for two other slaves to assist him. 262] results she expected from the treatment. Seeing that The lower his victim's status.

. [Robbins 1978] .” [Thompson. These mythologies were repeatedly presented as received truth.. Diabolist ideology provided easy cover for male predation. that punished female sexuality while giving free reign to men. whether their partners were willing or not. 227] Such abuses were the ultimate consequences of a system that barred women from priesthood and the professions. And the demonologists passed on each others’ stories: Sinistrari (1700) took his description of the “devil’s mark” from Guazzo (1608) who took it from Boguet (1602) who had it from Del Rio (1599) who copied it from Bingfield (1589) who got it from Bodin (1580). 15 foreskinnes [hymens] or lying with them.. without any relation to reality.