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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Its appearance did much to spur on and sustain some two centuries of witch-hunting hysteria in Europe. The second lays the foundation for the next section by describing the actual forms of witchcraft and its remedies.

Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed. Robbins, Rossell Hope Open hunting season was declared on women, especially herb gatherers, midwives, widows and spinsters.

Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Period of the Witch Trials. Citing such views, Kramer and Sprenger find that women are ‘intellectually like children,’ credulous and impressionable, and therefore easily fall prey to the devil.

Malleus Maleficarum

As mentioned above, the late fifteenth century was a period of religious turmoil, already charged with the inchoate challenges that would eventually spark the Protestant Reformation several decades in the future. In Latin, the feminine Maleficarum would only be used for women while the masculine Maleficorum could be used for men alone or for both sexes if together Maxwell-Stewart, 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 Malleus Maleficarum and the witch craze that ensued took advantage of the increasing intolerance of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Europe, where the Protestant and Catholic malleeus respectively, pitted against one another, each zealously strove to maintain what they each deemed to be the purity of faith. One of the most hateful and evil books ever written was a diatribe published in called Malleus Maleficarum.


That printing should have been invented thirty years before maleficatum first publication of the Malleus was, fatalistically speaking, a piece of remarkable ill-timing.

It must be noted that during the Inquisition, few, if any, real, verifiable, witches were ever discovered or tried.

Archived copy as title link “Archived copy”. There was a problem with your submission. In a letter dated November 27, Salazar advised the inquisitioners not to believe everything they read in Malleus Maleficarumeven if the authors write about it as something they themselves have seen and investigated Henningson p.

According to Mackay, this concept of sorcery maleficaru, characterized by the conviction that those guilty engage in six activities: Between andtwenty editions of the Malleus Maleficarum were published, and another sixteen between and Summation of the Malleus Maleficarum.

The attendants obey forthwith, yet with feigned agitation. It must also be noted that the crime of Witchcraft was not the only crime of which one could be accused during the Inquisition. Up to this point, the prosecution of witches was mostly the job of the ecclesiastical courts, whose influence did not extend beyond the church.

Malleus maleficarum

Hence, he has also caused a certain unusual heretical perversity to grow up in the land of the Lord — maelficarum Heresy, I say, of Maleficatum, since it is to be designated by the particular gender over which he is known to have power. However, if there was no confirmation, tortures could not be repeated, but it was allowed to continue them at the specified day: Instead, the faculty condemned it as being both unethical and illegal.

The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. It is beyond the scope of this article to adequately examine the role of the Malleus in world history, or its lasting effects. Theologians and jurists respected it as one among many informative books; its particular savage misogyny and its obsession with impotence were never fully mapleus, Monter, The Sociology of Jura Witchcraftin The Witchcraft Readerp.

Thousands of people primarily women were judically murdered as a result of the procedures described in this book, for no reason than a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivation of medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused often for financial gain by the accuser.


The Malleus elevates sorcery to the criminal status of heresy and prescribes inquisitorial practices for secular courts in order to extirpate witches.

The Malleus Maleficarum was intended to implement Exodus Some modern scholars believe that Jacob Sprenger contributed little if anything to the work besides his name, but the evidence to support this is weak.

The Dominican monks Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger assembled many fairy tales and magic stories, nightmares, hearsay, confessions and accusations and put this all together as factual information in what became the handbook for the witch hunters, examiners, torturers and executioners, called the Malleus Maleficaruma title which was translated as Hammer of Witches.

It was published inbut two years previously the authors had secured a bull from Pope Innocent VIII, authorizing them to continue the witch hunt in the Alps which they had already instituted against the opposition from clergy and secular authorities. The Latin book was firstly translated by J.

Shortly after its publication the Catholic Church later banned the book.

The treatise describes how women and men become inclined to practice witchcraft. Because of the nature of the enemy, any witness, no matter what his credentials, may testify against an accused.

In the Spanish Inquisition cautioned its members not to believe everything the Malleus said, even when it presented apparently firm evidence. But how much of this is actually true?

Malleus Maleficarum Index

University of Massachusetts Press. They argue that the evil of maleficaum stems from their physical and mental imperfections, a notion derived from Aristotle’s theory that matter, perfection, and spirituality are purely expressed in the male body alone, and that women are misbegotten males produced by defective sperm.

Otherwise, the book would have been entitled Malleus Maleficorum as the masculine form of the Latin noun maleficus or malefica meaning witch.