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rare book library



theology & witchcraft

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Bodin, Jean (1530-1596)
De la demonomanie des sorciers.
A Anvers : Chez Arnould Coninx, 1586.

Image from Bodin's De la demonomanie des sorciers

This landmark work in the history of witchcraft persecutions was first issued in 1580, ten editions being published by 1604. Based on Bodin's own experiences as a judge, the work was one of the first to define a legal definition of witchcraft and was written as a guide to other members of the judiciary. While Bodin shows some legal erudition, he does not adhere to the ordinary rules of prosecution and urged the brutal treatment of suspects. The third section of the work lists how to torture, interrogate, condemn and execute witches.

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