The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger

The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger

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Overview

The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger by Montague Summers, Heinrich Institoris

For nearly three centuries Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches' Hammer) was the professional manual for witch hunters. This work by two of the most famous Inquisitors of the age is still a document of the forces of that era's beliefs. Under a Bull of Pope Innocent VIII, Kramer and Sprenger exposed the heresy of those who did not believe in witches and set forth the proper order of the world with devils, witches, and the will of God. Even if you do not believe in witchcraft, the world of 1484 did.
Contemporary cases illustrate methods by which witches attempt to control and subvert the world: How and why women roast their first-born male child; the confession of how to raise a tempest by a washwoman suspended "hardly clear of the ground" by her thumbs; methods of making a formal pact with the Devil; how witches deprive men of their vital member; and many others. Methods of destroying and curing witchcraft, such as remedies against incubus and succubus devils, are exemplified and weighed by the authors.
Formal rules for initiating a process of justice are set down: how it should be conducted and the method of pronouncing sentence; when to use the trial by the red-hot-iron; how the prosecutor should protect himself; how the body is to be shaved  and searched for tokens and amulets, including those sewn under the skin. As Summers says, it was the casebook on every magistrate's desk.
Montague Summers has given a very sympathetic translation. His two introductions are filled with examples of witchcraft and the historical importance of Malleus Maleficarum. This famous document should interest the historian, the student of witchcraft and the occult, and the psychologist who is interested in the medieval mind as it was confronted with various forces which could be explained only by witchcraft.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486228020
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 06/01/1971
Series: Dover Occult Series
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 192,915
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been writing my own book recently on Historical Witchcraft. No research could be complete without reading and studying the Malleus Maleficarum. I read this book, along with others on the same subject, and although you may need a dictionary handy while reading this book - it is 100% quality! I recommend this book to EVERYONE Catholic all the way to Pagan. Why would a Witch recommend this book to a Christian and/or Catholic to read you may ask? Because it's important for them to understand the history of their religion as well and the crimes committed in the name of Jesus Christ. The Malleus Maleficarum was created as a 'handbook' for finding, torturing and ridding Europe of Witches and Pagans and other Non-Christians. Basically this entire era in history was evolved from a need for land, a need for power and the persecution of those women who were given credibility for their abilities as healers, midwives, etc. Now, this is not to say that males were not persecuited - however, the persecution of women was done because it was unfathomable that women could have the knowledge of 'educated' men as it pertained to medicine and the good that they had done for healing could not be attributed to them when the Christians felt that this could only be attributed to GOD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I awarded this book 5 stars because it is, to coin a term from the fifty's 'the most'. The most horrific The most bigotted The most cruel The most un-intelligent The most dangerous despotism, the most heinous and misguided literature ever printed. To think that this was the textbook for the inquisition, and was writen because of a papal bull, makes it all the more heinous. I found it gruesome in the extreme and is more the type of document that one would expect to come out of Nazi Germany than the Christian church. It should be read and remembered by all Christians and Non-Christians alike, to ensure that it won't happen again. NOT to oppose evil is immoral, which is why I oppose all that this book stood and stands for. It made me ashamed to admit to being Christian, and has made me think again. If you have an ounce of tollerance towards your fellow man, then this book will turn you against Catholicism and probably INTO alcoholism. That it will also turn your stomach, would not surprise me either, it did mine! Buy it, read it, pass it on...this book should be read by everyone on the planet...and I am very serious! Please read every word and consider !!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Medieval Catholics were forbidden to believe in the phenomena that were later identified as 'Witchcraft' -- it was described as an 'illusion' in the medieval canon law (Gratian's Decretum C. 26 q. 5 c. 11, the canon 'Episcopi'). So how did it happen that in the 1500s and 1600s some Catholics and nearly all Protestants went on hunts after witches? Because in the Renaissance (1480s) some theologians (like Kramer and Spenger, who were asked to investigate sorcery -- which was NOT a captial crime) tried with some success to prove that so-called witches were 'heretics' because they were said to worship the devil. Calvin and Luther loved this idea and so their followers burned witches in German, England, and Salem in New England. In Spain, where, sad to say (?), the Spanish Inquisition was responsible for sorcery cases (and applied the medieval law) not a single 'witch' was executed, rather those who belived in witches were punished. In other countries of northern Europe, sad to say, as many as a couple thousand poor souls (both men and women) were executed for this 'crime.' This book is essential reading if you want to know how the medieval Church law was subverted and people of the early modern period went off on witch hunts. I give it only 4 stars because of the lapses in the translation and the defective introduction. See Edward Peter's _The Magician, the Witch, and the Law_, if you want the background and role of this and other texts on 'witchcraft.'
Christina11cm More than 1 year ago
If you like to delve in to our true history then this is definitely a great read. This book was everything and more than I anticipated absolutely love it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most terrifying books on witch hunts ever written.