First written in 1486 by zealous Inquisitors of the Catholic Church, "The Witch Hammer" came to be the witch-hunting handbook of the fifteenth century. Its main purpose was to refute doubts of the existence of witchcraft, though it proceeds to prove women more susceptible than men, as well as to outline procedures that allowed law enforcers to discover and convict witches. Because of the papal bull acknowledging the validity of this previously pagan belief, the persecution of alleged witches became widespread and brutal with the printing of "Malleus Maleficarum" on the recently invented printing press. Though some of the claims in this work are perhaps humorous to the modern reader, countless individuals lost their lives due to the prevalence of this book throughout late Medieval Europe, and today it can serve as a both a collection of superstitious folklore and a warning against mass hysteria and ignorance.
3 out of 5 (good)
This book is classed at the Witch Hunter's Bible, and details some of the thinking of the people involved in the Witch Hunts. It is divided into different parts - an introduction to the 1928 version, an introduction to the 1948 version, and then parts two and three. These parts are set up with a question as the heading, and then the 'answer' as the rest of the chapter. Question I is "Whether the Belief that there are such Beings as Witches is so Essential a Part of the Catholic Faith that Obstinacy to maintain the Opposite Opinion manifestly savours of Heresy - just to give you an idea.
I believe this book has historical value, if only as a lesson to learn from, but I personally will be glad to never read it again.
* Verified Purchase - March 2013 *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!