Contours of the Witchcraze in France


Witch craze began during late medieval period when ideas on witchcraft started to shift and witchcraft was increasingly recognized with heresy and devil worship. This made the church to start taking more interest on witchcraft than it did in the past periods. The notion that witches were under Satan’s influence made witchcraft more of an alarm than it had been in previous times since magic was not linked with hersey. Outbreaks of witchcraft hysterics started in the early 16th century in France. Even though reformation divided Europe amid protestant areas and those devoted to the pope, Protestants took the witchcraft crime seriously than Catholics.

Witch trials in France

Witchcraft craze in France began as early as 1275, when an inquisition was developed at this period. Majority of individuals who were accused of witchcraft were women, who were considered by witch hunters as vulnerable to blandishments of the devil. Majority of those reputed as witches were believed to hold rituals known as Witches sabbats. At sabbats, witches did wicked activities such as dancing while naked, indulging in orgies and executing a travesty of the Christian mass. The inquisition trials resulted to several people been banned from the community and others were being beheaded (Oldridge, 2002).

Trials took place between 1275 and 1400 and majority of these early trials were aristocrats and bishops, who were indicted of utilizing sorcery against King Louis five. In 1390 authorities became engaged with the inquest, taking cases before courts of law. According to Barstow, A., (1999), during 15th century, those accused of witchcrafts were killed and between 1428 and 1450, over 50 men and 100 women were set on fire for being witches.

The France wirchcraft inquest was liable for witch hunts which emerged from torture of numerous indicted witches, who then confessed their personalities of other people supposed to be witches. The accused were compelled to down city streets in clothing connected with heretic s, where they were burnt alive. The inquest also tricked individuals into additional confessions by making promises that if they obliged, they would be released (Barstow, 1999).

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