Malleus Maleficarum (). translated by Montague Summers . This is the best known (i.e., the most infamous) of the witch-hunt manuals. Written in Latin. Malleus maleficarum, detailed legal and theological document (c. ) regarded as the standard handbook on witchcraft, including its detection and its. (title page from Lyons edition of Malleus Maleficarum as found in Robbins ). written in by two German Dominicans, Heinrich Kramer and Jakob.
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One of the most hateful and evil books ever written was a diatribe published in called Malleus Maleficarum. Malkeus name is Latin for the Hammer of Witches.
It was also called Hexenhammer in German. The book is one of the most famous medieval treatises on witches. Its main purpose was to challenge all arguments against the existence of witchcraft and to instruct magistrates on how to identify, malefciarum and convict witches.
It is particularly important for our purpose in that it was also one of the first published books that offered detailed and explicit instructions on malfeicarum subject and practice of criminal profiling. Kramer and Sprenger were two Dominican monks who were professors of theology of the Order of Friars and Preachers.
The book was first published in Latin and it was intended as a guide for those involved in the Inquisition to help them identify, prosecute and punish witches. Shortly after its publication the Catholic Church later banned the book. But how much of this is actually true? On the subject of authorship many scholars now believe that Jacob Sprenger contributed little if anything to mleficarum work besides his name.
But the evidence to support this claim must be regarded as somewhat nebulous. If the book had been banned by the Catholic Church inas has been claimed by some experts, then it would have appeared on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum the List of Prohibited Books.
This was a list of publications deemed heretical, anti-clerical or lascivious, and therefore banned by the Catholic 146. Even maleficaru, Malleus Maleficarum does not appear on the list. The alleged banning of the book in was probably confused with the condemnation by the Inquisition of Henrich Kramer malefifarum occurred in Furthermore, despite the appearance of the Papal Bull at the beginning of the book, there is now serious doubt the book was ever endorsed by the Catholic Church.
It does not even refer to Malleus Maleficarum. In relation to the Papal Bull the Catholic Encyclopedia states:. Its direct purport was simply to ratify the powers already conferred upon Henry Institoris and James Sprenger, inquisitors, to deal with persons of every class and with every form of crime for example, with witchcraft as well as heresyand it called upon the Bishop of 14866 to lend the inquisitors all possible support.
Henry Institoris is one and the same person as Henry Kramer.
The fact is that it is more than likely that Kramer fraudulently misrepresented the bull as an endorsement of his book, but it was not. However, its inclusion certainly gave the impression that the Malleus Maleficarum had been granted approval by Pope Innocent VIII which is one of the reasons why it became so popular.
Some even believe that the Letter of Approbation from the Faculty of Theology of the University of Cologne maleficarm a forgery and that when Kramer brought the Malleus Maleficarum before the University of Cologne requesting an endorsement, it was rebuffed.
Others believe that it is much more likely that the Letter of Approbation was genuine, but that the Malleus itself was never actually read by those who endorsed it.
Edward Peters in the book Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: Volume Three — The Middle Ages writes: The approval of the theological faculty of Cologne was arranged through a complicated series of academic negotiations — it, too, does not address the remarkable qualities of the work itself.
The reality is that whether or not Malleus Maleficarum was ever officially banned by the Catholic Church, it became the de-facto handbook for witch-hunters and Inquisitors throughout Late Medieval Europe.
Between the years andit was published thirteen times, and between to it was again published mwleficarum times.
And while a lot of its popularity is due to Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press in the middle of the fifteenth century that allowed the work to spread so rapidly throughout Europe, the fact remains that this evil book was instrumental in the horrific deaths of many thousands of innocent people.
The diatribe is divided into three sections. The first section endeavors to refute any critics who dare to deny the reality of witchcraft, thereby hindering its prosecution. The second section describes the actual forms of witchcraft and its remedies. The third section is to assist judges confronting and combating witchcraft. Each of these three sections has the prevailing themes of profiling what is witchcraft and who is a witch. The fourth section deals with matters of practice and discuses actual cases and the powers of witches and their recruitment strategies.
It states that it is mostly witches, and not the Devil, who recruit new witches. They effect this by ensuring that something goes wrong in the life of a respectable matron that makes her consult the knowledge of a witch, or by introducing young maidens to tempting young devils.
It details how witches are likely to behave particularly in the casting of spells, and remedies that can be taken to prevent witchcraft, or help those who have been adversely affected by it. The criminal profile of a witch was particularly detailed. They were also likely to live alone, have no children and keep pets.
Malleus Maleficarum – New World Encyclopedia
The book even claimed that witches had the power to make men impotent and unable to copulate. The final section provides a template of precisely how to prosecute a witch.
The arguments are clearly laid for the lay magistrates with a step-by-step guide to the conduct of the prosecution in a witch trial. Women who did not cry during their trial were automatically considered to be witches and were summarily convicted, tortured and executed.
Proof was not necessary, accusations were faith based, conclusions were final and their authority was divine. Needless to say, the vast majority of people condemned as witches were women — the presumption being that nearly all witches were women.
In fact, the actual title for the book, Malleus Maleficarumis feminine, and alludes to the notion that it was women who were the villains.
Otherwise, the book would have been entitled Malleus Maleficorum as the masculine form of the Latin noun maleficus or malefica meaning mwleficarum. In Latin, the feminine Maleficarum would only be used for women while the masculine Maleficorum could be used for men malefiacrum or for both sexes if together Maxwell-Stewart, You are commenting using your WordPress.
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Protector malefifarum the suppressed, repressed, depressed and oppressed. Mallehs per carnalem concupiscentiam, quae quia in eis est insatiabilis All Witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is, in women, insatiable.