Witches and Witch Hunts Through the Ages

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Pub Date Mar 31 2024 | Archive Date Apr 30 2024
Pen & Sword | Pen & Sword History

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Description

Witchcraft! Just the mention of the name is enough to cause fear, even terror, in the minds and hearts of many people. But that is not the full story. Yes, there have always been proponents of the 'dark arts,' witches and warlocks willing to use their powers for evil, but the wise men and women of the ancient and medieval world - men and women eager to use their spells and potions for good - have often been overlooked.

This book looks at witchcraft from the early days, tracing its development as a pseudo-religious cult, the good and the bad, from the wild plains of Babylon to the present day. It highlights witch scares and individuals, particularly the witch hunts of the medieval period when 100,000 women were accused of witchcraft and nearly 80,000 executed. It examines the concept of witch hunting, detailing the activities of men like Matthew Hopkins, the famous Witchfinder General.

The book does not just focus on medieval and ancient witches, it takes in modern witch hunting - with people like Senator Joe McCarthy during his Communist witch hunts of the 1950s - and the continued modern persecution of women and men accused of witchcraft in African, Indian and Caribbean states.

This is a detailed account of witches and witchcraft, in many ways a tribute to the thousands of men and women accused and executed without full evidence or proof of evil doing. It is a broad historical sweep that includes fictional characters like Morgan le Fey and Merlin, the magician of King Arthur's court. Thoroughly researched and elegantly written, it is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the social and political history of the past.

Witchcraft! Just the mention of the name is enough to cause fear, even terror, in the minds and hearts of many people. But that is not the full story. Yes, there have always been proponents of the...


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ISBN 9781399071819
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