The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft And The Spanish Inquisition, 1609 1614

Gustav Henningsen


The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft And The Spanish Inquisition, 1609 1614

The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft And The Spanish Inquisition, 1609 1614

  • Title: The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft And The Spanish Inquisition, 1609 1614
  • Author: Gustav Henningsen
  • ISBN: 9780874170566
  • Page: 113
  • Format: Hardcover



Early in the seventeenth century the Spanish Inquisition was faced with an outbreak of witchcraft accusations in the Basque region The tribunal of Logrono sent one of its three inquisitors on a journey of visitation to investigate the charges, with the result that many persons were detained and tried, and some were executed For Basque society these events were a wrenchEarly in the seventeenth century the Spanish Inquisition was faced with an outbreak of witchcraft accusations in the Basque region The tribunal of Logrono sent one of its three inquisitors on a journey of visitation to investigate the charges, with the result that many persons were detained and tried, and some were executed For Basque society these events were a wrenching experience, and they proved to be pivotal within the framework of European inquisitorial witch craft proceedings.Another inquisitor, Alonso de Salazar, conducted the next visitation His extensive investigatiors into witch families and practices led him to doubt the validity of the many confessions heard earlier, and he filed a minority report which resulted in termination of the Inquisition s witch burnings.Students of witchcraft and the Inquisition have long regarded the Salazar report as crucial to an understanding of the phenomenon, but had no access to it Danish scholar Gustav Henningsen located the manuscript in a Spanish archive and found it to be a fascinating document The Witches Advocate is Henningsen s study of how Salazar penetrated the testimony of the numerous witnesses who were coerced by parish priests or family members into accusing others, or who were simply availing themselves of the opportunity to redress old scores It provides one of the most detailed accounts to date of witches and inquisitors, including recipes for making flying ointment from toads, the techniques of securing confessions, and the grim realities of an auto de fe.Henningsen uses Salazar s insights to conduct a psychological and sociological analysis of the phenomenon In the process we are asked to consider evidence contradictory to the school of thought which contends that witches existed as remnants of a pagan cult What emerges is the anatomy of mass hysteria fomented by the existing power structure for its own ends Finally, the fascinating intellectual portrait of Salazar himself reveals one of the world s great humanists, a figure who richly deserves to be rescued from obscurity.This is an important book for any student of witchcraft, the Inquisition, or the Spanish RenaissanceSTAV HENNINGSEN discovered the long lost Salazar papers while doing re search on witchcraft in Spain He is now research director at the Danish Folklore Archives in Copenhagen Historians of early modern Spain will find that this is one of the most important books to be published in their field a fascinating and edifying story, superbly told History Today


Recent Comments "The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft And The Spanish Inquisition, 1609 1614"

Very interesting. The subject is why this book is worth reading; the writing is a little heavy-handed and drags in a few places. I was hoping for some of the actual tales people told when they "confessed" to being witches, but no complete confession is included, mostly generalizations of how many people said this and how many said that. Granted, as Henningsen points out, the inquisitorial documents aren't exactly accurate, and that's why, at the "end" of this particular witch hunt, the Holy Offi [...]


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