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U-M HISTORY 375 - WGS 375 Discussion Board 1

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Where does the document(s) fit in the timeline described by Russell and Alexander and in lecture? Think about change over time.Hunter - Bernardino of Siena (1427): he was a famous preacher who protested against witches. He presented the Virgin Mary as an example for women, emphasizing Mary’s obedience to her husband. He supported keeping women in a “traditional cage” under the guard of the “father, brother, husband, or parish priest” all while making sure they were in as comfortable and human situation as possible, which I found confusing. Scholar - Johannes Nider, Formicarius (1435-1438): This infamous text gives informative close accounts of witchcraft, including hunts in Switzerland and a comment on Joan of Arc – which really surprised me! Unlike his successors, Nider was one of the first scholars to transformthe idea of sorcery to the more modern concept of witchcraft. Before the fifteenth century, magic was assumed to have been performed solely by men through rituals. In Nider’s Formicarius, the witch is depicted as usually an uneducated female. I found Nider’s discussion of the inferior physical, mental, and moral capacity of females to be challenging but exactly the kind of transformative perspective on witchcraft needed at this point in the timeline.Hunter - Martin de Castanega, Tratado muy sotil y bien fundado (1529): Castanega wrote thisspecific text after he saw trials and grew very skeptical. He questioned flying through the air or claims about Devil appearances. Instead of supporting hunts and violence, Castanega recommended a different approach than the others: religious prayer and devotion.Scholar - Lambert Daneau, De veneficiis (1564): Daneau was a Calvinist pastor who lived nearOrleans in France who wrote a dialogue against witches, causing him a lot of trouble. I found it particularly interesting that this text was somewhat influential on the Elizabethan court in England. Overall: These texts cover the span of the Renaissance period (1400-1600), an intellectual revolutionary period. Furthermore, I find it ironic that despite this growth in intellectual practice, this period also saw writers justify the witch hunts, which were just beginning to intensify. I also want to note the invention of the printing press (1450) which encouraged an increase in literacy; however, witch hunting manuals provoking ideas about witches were also published, adding to the intensity of the


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