The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for “The Hammer of Witches”, or “Hexenhammer” in German) is one of the most famous medieval treatises on witches. It was written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, and was first published in Germany in 1487. Its main purpose was to challenge all arguments against the existence of witchcraft […]
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In his book, The Demon-Haunted World, author and scientist Carl Sagan had this to say about the Malleus Maleficarum; Innocent commended “Our dear sons Henry Kramer and James Sprenger,” who “have been by Letters Apostolic delegated as Inquisitors of these heretical [de]pravities” If “the abominations and enormities in question remain unpunished,” the souls of multitudes […]
“But (and this is remarkable) when on the next day the other witch had at first been exposed to the very gentlest questions, being suspended hardly clear of the ground by her thumbs, after she had been set quite free, she disclosed the whole matter without the slightest discrepancy from what the other had told…” […]
In 1484 two Dominican friars, Heinrich Kraemer and Johann Sprenger, induced Pope Innocent VIII to issue a bull authorizing them to extirpate witchcraft in Germany; and two years later these two mean published the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches’ Hammer), a work that became the authoritative encyclopaedia of demonology throughout Christendom. It was a synthesis of […]
What follows is the Malleus summation in Encyclopedia Britannica. Malleus Maleficarm – detailed legal and theological document (c. 1486) regarded as the standard handbook on witchcraft, including its detection and its extirpation, until well into the 18th century. Its appearance did much to spur on and sustain some two centuries of witch-hunting hysteria in Europe. […]
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