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Witchcraft Mythologies and Persecutions
(Demons, Spirits, Witches, Volume III)

The editors:

Éva Pócs
is professor at Janus Pannonius University, Pécs, Hungary, renowned scholar of historical anthropology, authority on folk beliefs in East Central Europe. Author of Between the Living and the Dead, published by CEU Press in 1998.

Gábor Klaniczay is professor at the Central European University, and at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Taught and did research at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the Sorbonne in Paris, at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Getty Center for Arts and the Humanities, Santa Monica etc.

This third, concluding volume of the series publishes 14 studies and the transcription of a round-table discussion on Carlo Ginzburg’s Ecstasies. The themes of the previous two volumes, Communicating with the Spirits, and Christian Demonology and Popular Mythology, are further expanded here both as regards their interdisciplinary approach and the wide range of regional comparisons. While the emphasis of the second volume was on current popular belief and folklore as seen in the context of the historical sources on demonology, this volume approaches its subject from the point of view of historical anthropology. The greatest recent advances of witchcraft research occurred recently in two fields: (1) deciphering the variety of myths and the complexity of historical processes which lead to the formation of the witches’ Sabbath, (2) the micro-historical analysis of the social, religious, legal and cultural milieu where witchcraft accusations and persecutions developed. These two themes are completed by some further insights into the folklore of the concerned regions which still carries the traces of the traumatic historical memories of witchcraft persecutions.

Introduction by Gábor Klaniczay and Éva Pócs Mythologies Martine Ostorero, The Concept of the Witches’ Sabbath in the Alpine Region (1430–1440) Text and Context; Round-table discussion on Ecstasies by Carlo Ginzburg (with the participation of Wolfgang Behringer, Carlo Ginzburg, Gustav Henningsen, Gábor Klaniczay, Giovanni Pizza and Éva Pócs) Gábor Klaniczay: Learned Systems and Popular Narratives of Vision and Bewitchment; Adelina Angusheva: Late Medieval Witch Mythologies in the Balkans; Per Sörlin: Child-Witches and the Construction of the Witches' Sabbath: The Swedish Blåkulla Story; Legal mechanisms, social contexts Péter Tóth G.: River Ordeal–Trial by Water–Swimming of Witches: Procedures of Ordeal in Witchcraft Trials; Ildikó Kristóf: How to Make a (Legal) Pact with the Devil? Legal Customs and Literacy in Witch Confessions in Early Modern Hungary; Anna Brzezińska: Healing at the Jagiellonian Court; Polina Melik Simonian: Following the Traces of Xenophobia in Muscovite Witchcraft Investigation Records; Judit Kis-Halas: Trial of an Honest Citizen, Nagybánya 1704–5: The social and cultural context of witchcraft accusations - a tentative microanalysis; Daniel Ryan: Boundaries and Transgressions: Witchcraft and Community Conflict in Estonia During the Late Nineteenth Century; Witchcraft and folklore Francisco Vaz da Silva, Extraordinary Children, Werewolves and Witches in Portuguese Folk-Tradition; Ülo Valk, Reflections of Folk Belief and Legends at the Witch Trials of Estonia; Iveta Todorova-Pirgova: Witches and Priests in the Bulgarian Village: Past and Present; Mirjam Mencej: Witchcraft in Eastern Slovenia Index

"an accessible and stimulating collection of essays, and a fitting conclusion to a fine trilogy. These essays would serve as an excellent introduction to current trends in European social and interdisciplinary history, and to a group of authors whose works are far too seldom translated into English."—The Medieval Review

360 pages
ISBN 978-963-7326-87-5 cloth $50.00 / €44.95 / £40.00

Demons, Spirits, Witches
Volume I Communicating with the Spirits 2005
Volume II Christian Demonology and Popular Mythology 2006
Volume III Witchcraft Mythologies and Persecutions 2008