Hum 013

  1. Witchcraft and the Bible
    • ○ The bible does not talk about witches.
    • ○ Women were very low in the religious hierarchy; they could not have beenmediums or magicians because they were not scholars.
    • ○ Moses: staff becomes a snake- magic=power on loan from God
    • ○ Flowering of Aaron’s staff
    • ○ Dream revelation
    • ○ Oracles, prophecy
    • ○ Magic is power on loan from God
    • ○ Urim and Thummin=2 types of Oracles
  2. Bible translations:
    • ○ Ventriloquist, diviner, astrologer, poisoner, juggler were Hebrew words translatedas “witch”
    • ○ Standard translations from Hebrew into Latin were erroneous; Latin words suchas maleficus, veneficus
    • ○ These were mistranslated to accommodate the Catholic world-view and werealso replicated in later translations from Latin to English or German (translationsstem from Reformation)
    • ○ During the Reformation, the protestant churches needed texts in the vernacularbecause Catholic mass had been in Latin; King James was responsible for theEnglish translation and Martin Luther was responsible for the German one.
  3. Witchcraft in Ancient Greece
    • ○ curse tablets
    • ○ litigation: binding spells, erotic spells, competition curses, trade curses
    • ○ protective amulets
    • ○ voodoo dolls: wax, lead, bronze, some twisted body, needles. Doll tightly shut incontainer. Tablets were usually preferred over dolls (quicker and easier)
    • ○ Athens did not have harsh legislation against black magic
    • ○ No cosmic struggle between good and evil
    • ○ Anthropomorphized: Gods have human attributes, no cosmic good & evil struggle
    • ○ 3 witches: no eyes, one eye you can share, they are blind b/c they have a 2ndsight=the future
    • ○ Plato: magic is condemned because magicians try to persuade the Gods
    • ○ Magos: ancient priests/high priests
    • ○ Witches are women, an ideological fact
    • ○ The Night Witch: mythical image of the night witch, a radical enemy of all humancivilization, a flesh-devouring woman, a child-killing demon; knows how to drawdown the moon
    • ○ Hekate: crossroads goddess, has dogs, birth mother of all vampire
    • ○ Wild Hunt: Artemis (Diana)/Hekate use horses, not brooms
  4. Witchcraft in Nordic Societies
    ○ Nordic witches are respected as seers, , healers, wise women, integrated into thecommunity, can do positive magic, and can assist the community in neutralizingblack magic; they can also be harmful by bringing harm to physical well-beingand to fertility; they are shape-changers; the myth is that these women broughthatred and war into the world, responsible for aging, death, and strife, lust, greed;they are associated with goats, pigs, cauldrons, riding out at night, sticks, whichare all attributes that are transformed into the Christian model of the witchessabbath.
  5. Witchcraft and the Canon Episcopi
    • ○ Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church
    • ○ Claims that only God can create and that God is stronger than the devil
    • ○ Not gender-specific
    • ○ Men: Practices sorcery and malefice with the help of the Devil; heresy
    • ○ Punishment: to eject them foully disgraced from their parishes
  6. Witchcraft and Martin Luther
    • ○ offered a new explanation for gender-specificity of witches
    • ○ concept of witchcraft linked to the role of the housewif
    • e○ nagging shrew
    • ○ post-menopausal
    • ○ obedient, humble, submissive
    • ○ education of children
  7. Witchcraft and the Malleus Maleficarum
    • ○ published by Heinrich Kramer and Jakob Sprenger in 1487
    • ○ handbook on witchcraft: the nature of witches, harm witches do, how toprosecute them
    • ○ intended for judges and priests
    • ○ influential in continental witch trials
    • ○ witchcraft poses a diabolic threat to marriage and society by suppressing fertility,challenging authority, and promoting witchcraft
    • ○ Devil is stronger than man and that he has power over the minds of men whengod allows him to exercise his power
    • ○ women are witches by nature
    • ○ carnal lust○ sexually active younger women
    • ○ turn into animals, bear children to Devil
  8. Witchcraft and torture
    • ○ Interrogations; use torture to gain information○ Pope Innocent IV authorized papal inquisitors to use torture in the prosecution ofheresy.
    • ○ Torture is necessary to drive the evil spirits out of the accused’s body (exorcism)
    • ○ Torture system and its rules were abused
    • ■ There was no repetition of torture, but a
    • continuation
    • ○ Varying degrees of torture
    • ■ Model A: show the torture chamber, show
    • the instruments, bind handsand feet and
    • interrogate (1st degree); strappado pulley-
    • system (2nddegree); squasation: attach
    • weights to hands and feet and violently
    • shakeropes, pull them up, and drop them
    • (3rd degree)
    • ■ Model B: thumb screws, strappado, 2
    • metal straps around legs, bonesbreak;
    • stretch body; spike chair; pine splinters
    • ignited under fingernails;torch
  9. Witchcraft and gender
    • ○ witch as a potentially wealthy woman: accusations in New England were oftendirected against women who stood to inherit property
    • ○ Midwives were accused because they threatened the members of certainprofessions (priests, doctors); trying to be more powerful/dominant
    • ○ Single women: vulnerable, had no one to stand up for them, widowers
    • ○ Weakest members of a community
  10. Accusatory system:
    a criminal action is initiated by a private person; it is a formal, public,sworn statement; appeals to God using ordeals; if the person accused is found innocent, theperson who accused them would receive punishment.
  11. Animal familiar:
    • animal associated with the witch.
    • Could be a cat, toad, etc.; witches nursethem with her teat
  12. apotropaic:
    to ward off evil; magic did exist; incantations to heal illnesses; it is all counter-magic
  13. Benandanti:
    witch fighters; they were also accused of witchcraft; witches enemy of agricultureand fertility
  14. Cathars:
    • dualists --> powerful god and devil;
    • Satan created this world (the material world wascreated by Satan) all flesh=pure evil; catalysts for Inquistion
  15. Circe:
    Greek witch who changes men into swine
  16. Curse tablet
    Small thin sheets usually made of lead with inscriptions (often including thename of the victim); deposited in a grave or body of water
  17. Diana
    virgin Greek goddess of birthing, rode with maidens and with dogs, idea of ‘wild hunt’came from her, associated with the moon,
  18. Freya
    Norse goddess, Friday, love, birth, death, sexuality, sensuality, lust, greedyWanted necklace that dwarves made, slept with every single dwarf until she got it (sold herchastity); goddess of fertility; has connection to the underworld; led the Valkyries at times bybringing them to valhalla; taught the sky Gods witchcraft; Seithr magic: spell-casting, divinationshapeshifter (falcon)
  19. Hag riding
    hags causes a nightmare by sitting on a person's chest and riding them(associated with Sleep disorders/nightmares/wet dreams/asthma attacks)
  20. Hecate
    Goddess of fertility/Underworld; three-faced and one of three goddesses of the moon(Selene: heaven, Artemis: earth, Hekate: hell); Wild Hunt led by her; embodies malign aspectsof the divine world
  21. Heresy
    deviation from the faith; crime punishable by law; what witchcraft eventually became
  22. Idolatry
    attempt to purify the faith; against superstitious beliefs, use of holy water, charms,amulets; against folk magic and Catholicism; spiritual: worship of saints, rosaries, relics;physical: witchcraft, astrology, love, magic healing; putting faith in magic objects, not in God
  23. Indulgences
    redefined the function of the sacraments; see burning twig, get a year offpurgatory; believers would pay money to the church for their own sins or for the sins of theirloved ones who had died; rejected by Martin Luther and one of the main reasons for theReformation
  24. Innocent VIII
    Pope who issued a papal bull in 1484 (summis desiderantes affectibus); this bullauthorized Kramer and Sprenger to execute witches in Germany
  25. Inquisitorial system:
    Names of witches were whispered in ear or started by rumors; PopeGregory IX put monks in charge of Inquisitions; Started out with Cathers and Waldensians;torture was used to get names of other witches and this led to more witch hunts; death byburning, sometimes hanging
  26. Heinrich Kramer:
    co-author of Malleus Malleficarum; failed as Inquisitor to Tyrol; thrown out ofthe country in 1484; wrote about sexual misconduct
  27. Lex talionis
    For false accusation, the accuser suffers the penalty that the defendant wouldhave received.
  28. Loki
    by race, he is giant, but he is sometimes counted among the sky gods; he is a shapechanger(can take on the shape of a woman or of a falcon or a salmon); traveled through theair; conflated with the Christian devil; he is a malicious trickster because he played pranks onpeople; he is greedy and selfish; he does good and evil deeds; killed an evil giant, helps toregain Thor’s hammer, rescues the gods; he cheated the gods and was bound in chains
  29. Maleficium:
    to do evil; how magic was thought of before it was equated with heresy - magicwas only bad if you did an evil deed or “maleficium” with it
  30. Martin Luther
    Protestant reformer, Excommunicated from Catholic ChurchForcibly kidnapped by his friend with 1517 Wittenburg, Wartburg CastleTranslated the Bible during his home arrest
  31. Medea
    patroness of evil sorcery, a servant of Hekate; Jason and the Golden Fleece: She killsherself and her two children representing the anti-mother that would do anything for love
  32. Odin
    the boss of all gods; he and his brothers created the first two humans, Ask and Embla,from two trees; he has one eye and an eight-legged horse; his animal is the raven (thought andmemory), and two of them would bring him news; he is also the god of poetry and the god ofmagic and wisdom (can inspire a trance-like state of ecstasy in his followers); he is the god ofwar; galdr magic: prophesy, magic chants
  33. Ordeal
    physical symptoms are understood as signs of the divine response to an enquiry; waterof bitterness: If a wife is suspected of adultery, she has to drink it; if she is innocent, it has noeffect; if her body swells, she is guilty
  34. Polytheism
    belief in many gods; Greek and Nordic paganism
  35. Sabbath
    meeting place for the witch. Believed to be a place where witches met other witchesin order to practice their magic. Important during the Inquisition because witches had to givenames of other witches. At this place witches killed and ate babies. They mocked the ChristianSunday gathering by having black candles and books. They had sexual interactions with eachother and the devil; they turn their backs upon the altar and tread upon the cross; goat has ablack candle
  36. sola fide
    this means faith alone; salvation through God’s grace alone; for example, you don’tget to go to paradise just because you followed the rules (confession, mass, etc); emphasizedby Martin Luther in Protestantism, attack against Catholic rituals
  37. strappado
    victims’ hands were bound behind their back and feet were bound; hands boundtogether with a hook; was like a pulley-system
  38. Syncretism
    combining two opposing principles or practices such as Thor’s hammer opposite ofthe cross
  39. Thor’s hammer
    holds the forces of chaos in check; this hammer looks like a cross
  40. Transsubstantiation
    the idea that, because of priest, actual body and blood of Christ is eatenduring the Eucharist; rejected by Martin Luther
  41. Valhalla
    dining hall in Asgard ruled by Odin--> Injured warriors, dead warriors, come to aid Odin during the Ragnarok
  42. Valkyries
    female who decides who will die in battle and leads them to Valhalla (Freya)
  43. Volva
    the Viking reading; Volva is a female seer who travels from farm to farm. She answersquestions about the future, utters prophecies, questions are usually of great importance for thecommunity such as weather, crops, and marriages; divination rite, sometimes associated withharmful magic directed against a victim; trance, ecstasy, chants, incantations; her cloak set withstones, boots, gloves of animal skin, cat’s fur; pouch of charms with tools of her trade; has astaff with a brass knob on it and studded with tones; she is treated with respect
  44. Waldensians
    preached poverty and rejected the idea of purgatory; catalysts for the Inquistion(13th century)
  45. Wild Hunt:
    male and female versions. Male version= led by Odin, collected the souls ofthe dead, the dead joined in the ride, if you witness the wild hunt you must join in and die.bad omen. Female version: led by Freyja, can be good or bad sign. Christian version: Freyjareplaced by Diana.informed Christian concepts of night-flying; furious bunch of female witches and ghosts on therestless dead who ride through the sky on black phantom horses; they shriek and make wildnoises while destroying lives and property. Led by pagan goddesses Hekate/Diana morphedinto one person.
  46. Witch of Endor
    • - Pythoness: a woman telling fortunes by the inspiration of a python or a conjured spirit
    • - Saul wants to consult Witch of Endor, an unauthorized medium, to converse with the ghostof Samuel. (Saul already lost god’s favor. He is a leader that lost his divine source of authority.There is a war and he is desperate since he doesn’t know what to do so he goes to the witch ofendor aka pythoness (there is mistranslation)
    • .- She is not one of the authorized Hebrew prophets (Bible denounces unauthorized divination)
    • - Problem is that God has turned away from Saul
  47. Gutenberg
    1455 --> Invention of the printing press
  48. Publication of Malleus
    1487 --> handbook for prosecuting witches, primarily women as targets
  49. Reformation
  50. Carolina
    1532 --> unified criminal code used to unify laws (for ex. torture can be repeated 3times, but some up to 50 times)
Card Set
Hum 013
Witches Midterm