In 1997, Stuart Clark published the first monograph since the time of Jules Michelet to focus on pre-modern ideas about witches. The language of belief in witchcraft studies betrays an anachronistic, modernist and dismissive approach to a mental universe quite different from our own. This book makes the male witch visible, to construct him as a historical subject, as a first step toward a deeper understanding of the functions and role of gender in pre-modern European witch-hunting and ideas about witches. The overtly political dimension to the study of witches in early modern Europe demands a high level of consciousness and reflexivity regarding language, representation, and meaning. William Monter provides a wealth of data about male witches, in an 'unremarkable province' close to 'the heart of northern and western Europe'. Here, men comprised the majority of those tried and executed for witchcraft. The book examines cases in which men were accused of witchcraft. The examples are drawn from several different regions, in order to test conventional generalisations about male witches. The agency theory posits that actors always have choices; 'agent-centred' morality proposes a novel twist on both traditional Kantian internalist categories. The problems of both male and female witches' agency and selfhood are discussed. The book also presents data compiled from ten canonical works, and a brief discussion of demonological illustrations. Finally, it addresses the question of what it means to label a man as a witch within a framework that explicitly and implicitly feminised witchcraft.
Irish Jacobites in early modernEurope: exile, adjustment and
Éamonn Ó Ciardha
Sustained migration to Europe has characterised Ireland and Britain’s
shared histories over the last fifteen hundred years. Close links with the
Papacy and Europe’s great universities, religious institutions and organisations, the English Crown’s extensive possessions in France, and a lucrative
trade in fish, wine and wool across the Irish Sea and English Channel
account for much of this traffic in the medieval period. In the early modern
era, the political
Given the widespread belief in witchcraft and the existence of laws against such practices, why did witch-trials fail to gain momentum and escalate into ‘witch-crazes’ in certain parts of early modern Europe? This book answers this question by examining the rich legal records of the German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a city that experienced a very restrained pattern of witch-trials and just one execution for witchcraft between 1561 and 1652. The book explores the factors that explain the absence of a ‘witch-craze’ in Rothenburg, placing particular emphasis on the interaction of elite and popular priorities in the pursuit (and non-pursuit) of alleged witches at law. By making the witchcraft narratives told by the peasants and townspeople of Rothenburg central to its analysis, the book also explores the social and psychological conflicts that lay behind the making of accusations and confessions of witchcraft. Furthermore, it challenges the existing explanations for the gender-bias of witch-trials, and also offers insights into other areas of early modern life, such as experiences of and beliefs about communal conflict, magic, motherhood, childhood and illness. Written in a narrative style, the study invites a wide readership to share in the drama of early modern witch trials.
Carlyle regarded the Reformation as a seminal event in the history of modern
Europe, the starting point of an ongoing stage in human development. Reformation
Protestantism gave birth to a more general and pervasive spirit of ‘reformation’
that Carlyle identified with the moral destiny of all individuals and
communities. These qualities were epitomized by heroic figures such as Luther
and Cromwell but they were also embedded in cultures that responded productively
to the ongoing challenge of reformation. Having traced the history of the ethos
of reformation through English Puritanism and in the commitment to
transformative action or ‘work’ that gave rise to Britains emergence as a
leading industrial and imperial power, Carlyle brought this reinvention of the
Reformation to bear in his critique of the counter-reforming tendencies in early
Victorian society that he saw as posing a profound threat to it.
Necromancy, the practice of conjuring and controlling evil spirits, was a popular
pursuit in the courts and cloisters of late medieval and early modern Europe.
Books that gave details on how to conduct magical experiments circulated widely.
Written pseudonymously under the name of the astrologer and translator Michael
Scot (d. 1236), Latin MS 105 from the John Rylands Library, Manchester, is
notable for the inclusion, at the beginning of the manuscript, of a corrupted,
unreadable text that purports to be the Arabic original. Other recensions of the
handbook, which generally travelled under the pseudo-Arabic title of Almuchabola
Absegalim Alkakib Albaon, also stressed the experiments non-Western origins.
Using Latin MS 105 as the main case study, this article aims to investigate the
extent to which a magic books paratextual data conveyed a sense of authority to
its contemporary audience.
Seem , M. and
Lane , H.
R. ( Minneapolis,
MN : University of Minnesota
E. ( 2005 ), The Printing Revolution in Early
ModernEurope ( Cambridge :
French subsidies played a central role in European politics from Charles VIII’s
invasion of Italy in 1494 until the French Revolution. French kings attempted to
frustrate what they viewed as a Habsburg bid to pursue universal monarchy.
During the seventeenth century, the French monarchy would embrace the payment of
subsidies on a different scale than previously, using alliances in which
subsidies played a prominent role to pursue crucial aspects of royal policy.
Louis XIII made alliances promising subsidies to support the United Provinces’
resumed war against the king of Spain, and for the Danish, Swedish, and various
German princes to fight against the Holy Roman Emperor. Louis XIV continued some
of these subsidies and used subsidies as a tool in order to implement his own
politics. When Louis XIV appeared to Dutch and some English statesmen as
aspiring to Universal monarchy, the Dutch and particularly the English used the
tool of subsidies to frustrate the French monarch. During the eighteenth
century, principally the French and the British, but also the Austrians, used
subsidies to procure allies and attempt to maintain the balance of power. The
subsidy system prompted significant debates about the legal, political, and
moral implications, and was sometimes a source of political conflict between
competing power groupings within states. The book argues that participation in
the French system of subsidies neither necessarily accelerated nor necessarily
retarded state development; but such participation could undoubtedly change
political dynamics, the creation of institutions, and the form of states that
This study investigates internationalism through the prism of a small European country. It explores an age in which many groups and communities – from socialists to scientists – organised themselves across national borders. Belgium was a major hub for transnational movements. By taking this small and yet significant European country as a focal point, the book critically examines major historical issues, including nationalism, colonial expansion, political activism and international relations. A main aim is to reveal the multifarious and sometimes contradictory nature of internationalism. The Belgian case shows how within one particular country, different forms of internationalism sometimes clashed and sometimes converged. The book is organised around political movements and intellectual currents that had a strong presence in Belgium. Each of the main chapters is dedicated to a key theme in European history: nationhood, empire, the relationship between church and state, political and social equality, peace, and universalism. The timeframe ranges from the fin de siècle to the interwar years. It thus covers the rise of international associations before the First World War, the impact of the conflagration of 1914, and the emergence of new actors such as the League of Nations. With its discussion of campaigns and activities that ranged beyond the nation-state, this study is instructive for anyone interested in transnational approaches to history.
implying sceptical distance in the sense that the ideas in question, while
sincerely held,were not only fallacious but also entirely subjective.We do
not mean to suggest that Satan-worshipping witches actually flew across the
early modernEuropean skies. Rather, we concur with anthropologist Gilbert
Lewis: ‘The very word “belief” often implies, in its use,
a judgement about the uncertain truth or reliability of that
are eager to protect and rediscover identities which
may already owe something to a Scottish template. Scottish myths and aesthetics played an important role in the making of the modernEuropean nations.
Scholars of European Romanticism argue that the work of James Macpherson
and Sir Walter Scott shaped the way modernEuropeans think about history
and the nation state. Scott’s novels, according to Robert Crawford, ‘have shaped
the European mind’, as ‘his fiction fuelled the formation of modernEuropean
nations and national literatures’.2 Cairns Craig writes that