HIS241 European Witch Trials (3-0-3)
This course surveys the history of the persecution of accused witches from the Medieval through the Early Modern era in Europe (ca. 600-1700), and including New England. The focus is on the anthropological, religious, legal, political and socio-economic contexts in which beliefs about magic and witches arose and were widely accepted. Attention is given to regional variations in witch beliefs and trial procedures. It also surveys the growth of skepticism, toleration, and the gradual decline of witch persecution to around the end of the 17th century. Finally, it considers some 20th- and 21st-century analogs to the European witch trials around the world.