PART II., QUESTION I.
CHAPTER IV CONTINUED
Notice also S. Thomas, the Second Book of Sentences (dist. 4, art. 4),
in the solution of an argument, where he asks whether those begotten in this
way by devils are more powerful than other men. He answers that this is the
truth, basing his belief not only on the text of Scripture in Genesis
vi: And the same became the mighty men which were of old; but also on the
following reason. Devils know how to ascertain the virtue in semen: first,
by the temperament of him from whom the semen is obtained; secondly, by
knowing what woman is most fitted for the reception of that semen; thirdly,
by knowing what constellation is favourable to that corporeal effect; and
we may add, fourthly, from their own words we learn that those whom they
beget have the best sort of disposition for devil's work. When all these
causes so concur, it is concluded that men born in this way are powerful and
big in body.
Therefore, in return to the question whether witches had their origin in
these abominations, we shall say that they originated from some pestilent
mutual association with devils, as is clear from our first knowledge of
them. But no one can affirm with certainty that they did not increase and
multiply by means of these foul practices, although devils commit this deed
for the sake not of pleasure but of corruption. And this appears to be the
order of the process. A Succubus devil draws the semen from a wicked man;
and if he is that man's own particular devil, and does not wish to make
himself an Incubus to a witch, he passes that semen on to the devil deputed
to a woman or witch; and this last, under some constellation that favours his
purpose that the man or woman so born should be strong in the practice of
witchcraft, becomes the Incubus to the witch.
And it is no objection that those of whom the text speaks were not witches
but only giants and famous and powerful men; for, as was said before,
witchcraft was not perpetuated in the time of the law of Nature, because of
the recent memory of the Creation of the world, which left no room for
Idolatry. But when the wickedness of man began to increase, the devil found
more opportunity to disseminate this kind of perfidy. Nevertheless, it is
not to be understood that those who were said to be famous men were
necessarily so called by reason of their good virtues.
Whether the Relations of an Incubus Devil with a Witch are always
accompanied by the Injection of Semen.
To this question it is answered that the devil has a thousand ways and means
of inflicting injury, and from the time of his first Fall has tried to
destroy the unity of the Church, and in every way to subvert the human race.
Therefore no infallible rule can be stated as to this matter, but there is
this probable distinction: that a witch is either old and sterile, or she
is not. And if she is, then he naturally associates with the witch without
the injection of semen, since it would be of no use, and the devil avoids
superfluity in his operations as far as he can. But if she is not sterile,
he approaches her in the way of carnal delectation which is procured for the
witch. And should be disposed to pregnancy, then if he can conveniently
possess the semen extracted from some man, he does not delay to approach her
with it for the sake of infecting her progeny.
But it is asked whether he is able to collect the semen emitted in some
nocturnal pollution in sleep, just as he collects that which is spent in the
carnal act, the answer is that it is probably that he cannot, though others
hold a contrary opinion. For it must be noted that, as has been said, the
devils pay attention to the generative virtue of the semen, and such virtue
is more abundant and better preserved in semen obtained by the carnal act,
being wasted in the semen that is due to nocturnal pollutions in sleep, which
arises only from the superfluity of the humours and is not emitted with so
great generative virtue. Therefore it is believed that he does not make use
of such semen for the generation of progeny, unless perhaps he knows that
the necessary virtue is present in that semen.
But this also cannot altogether be denied, that even in the case of a married
witch who has been impregnated by her husband, the devil can, by the
commixture of another semen, infect that which has been conceived.
Whether the Incubus operates more at one Time than another:
and similarly of the Place.
To the question whether the devil observes times and places it is to be said
that, apart from his observation of certain times and constellations when his
purpose is to effect the pollution of the progeny, he also observes certain
times when his object is not pollution, but the causing of venereal pleasure
on the part of the witch; and these are the most sacred times of the whole
year, such as Christmas, Easter, Pentacost, and other Feast days.
And the devils do this for three reasons. First, that in this way witches
may become imbued not only with the vice of perfidy through apostasy from
the Faith, but also with that of Sacrilege, and that the greater offence may
be done to the Creator, and the heavier damnation rest upon the souls of the
The second reason is that when God is so heavily offended, He allows them
greater power of injuring even innocent men by punishing them either in
their affairs or their bodies. For when it is said: The son shall not
bear the iniquity of the father, etc., this refers only to eternal
punishment, for very often the innocent are punished with temporal
afflictions on account of the sins of others. Wherefore in another place God
says: I am a mighty and jealous God,
visiting the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation.
Such punishment was exemplified in the children of the men of Sodom, who
were destroyed for their fathers' sins.
The third reason is that they have greater opportunity to observe many
people, especially young girls, who on Feast Days are more intent on idleness
and curiosity, and are therefore more easily seduced by old witches. And the
following happened in the native country of one of us Inquisitors (for there
are two of us collaborating in this work).
A certain young girl, a devout virgin, was solicited one Feast Day by an old
woman to go with her upstairs to a room where there were some very beautiful
young men. And when she consented, and as they were going upstairs with the
old woman leading the way, she warned the girl not to make the sign of the
Cross. And though she agreed to this, yet she secretly crossed herself.
Consequently it happened that, when they had gone up, the virgin saw no one,
because the devils who were there were unable to show themselves in assumed
bodies to that virgin. And the old woman cursed her, saying: Depart in the
name of all the devils; why did you cross yourself? This I had from the
frank relation of that good and honest maiden.
A fourth reason can be added, namely, that they can in this way more easily
seduce men, by causing them to think that if God permits such things to be
done at the most holy times, it cannot be such a heavy sin as if He did not
permit them at such times.
With regard to the question whether the favour one place more than another,
it is to be said that it is proved by the words and actions of witches that
they are quite unable to commit these abominations in sacred places. And in
this can be seen the efficacy of the Guardian Angels, that such places are
reverenced. And further, witches assert that they never have any peace
except at the time of Divine Service when they are present in the church;
and therefore they are the first to enter and the last to leave the church.
Nevertheless, they are bound to observe certain other abominable ceremonies
at the command of the devils, such as to spit on the ground at the Elevation
of the Host, or to utter, either verbally or otherwise, the filthiest
thoughts, as: I wish you were in such or such a place. This matter is touched
upon in the Second Part.
Whether Incubi and Succubi Commit this Act Visibly on the part of the
Witch, or on the part of Bystanders.
As to whether they commit these abominations together visibly or invisibly,
it is to be said that, in all the cases of which we have had knowledge, the
devil has always operated in a form visible to the witch; for there is no
need for him to approach her invisibly, because of the pact of federation
with him that has been expressed. But with regard to any bystanders, the
witches themselves have often been seen lying on their backs in the fields
or the woods, naked up to the very navel, and it has been apparent from the
disposition of those limbs and members which pertain to the venereal act and
orgasm, as also from the agitation of their legs and thighs, that, all
invisibly to the bystanders, they have been copulating with Incubus devils;
yet sometimes, howbeit this is rare, at the end of the act a very black
vapour, of about the stature of a man, rises up into the air from the witch.
And the reason is that that Schemer knows that he can in this way seduce or
pervert the minds of girls or other men who are standing by. But of these
matters, and how they have been performed in many places, in the town of
Ratisbon, and on the estate of the nobles of Rappolstein, and in certain
other countries, we will treat in the Second Part.
It is certain also that the following has happened. Husbands have actually
seen Incubus devils swiving their wives, although they have thought that
they were not devils but men. And when they have taken up a weapon and tried
to run them through, the devil has suddenly disappeared, making himself
invisible. And then their wives have thrown their arms around them, although
they have sometimes been hurt, and railed at their husbands, mocking them,
and asking them if they had eyes, or whether they were possessed of devils.
That Incubus Devils do not Infest only those Women who have been Begotten
by their Filthy Deeds or those who have been Offered to them by Midwives,
but All Indifferently with Greater or Less Venereal Delectation.
In conclusion, finally, it can be said that these Incubus devils will not
only infest those women who have been generated by means of such
abominations, or those who have been offered to them by midwives, but that
they try with all their might, by means of witches who are bawds or hot
whores, to seduce all the devout and chaste maidens in that whole district
or town. For this is well known by the constant experience of Magistrates;
and in the town of Ratisbon, when certain witches were burned, these wretches
affirmed, before their final sentence, that they had been commanded by their
Masters to use ever endeavour to effect the subversion of pious maids and
If it be asked: Whether the venereal delectation is greater or less with the
Incubus devils in assumed bodies than it is in like circumstances with men
in a true physical body, we may say this: It seems that, although the
pleasure should naturally be greater when like disports with like, yet that
cunning Enemy can so bring together the active and passive elements, not
indeed naturally, but in such qualities of warmth and temperament, that he
seems to excite no less degree of concupiscence. But this matter will be
discussed more fully later with reference to the qualities of the feminine
Page 2 of 2
Question I, Chapter V
This chapter was transcribed by Wicasta Lovelace.
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