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By L. Kallestrup

This publication bargains a comparability of lay and inquisitorial witchcraft prosecutions. In lots of the early smooth interval, witchcraft jurisdiction in Italy rested with the Roman Inquisition, while in Denmark purely the secular courts raised trials. Kallestrup explores the narratives of witchcraft as they have been laid ahead by means of humans excited about the pains.

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Extra resources for Agents of Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy and Denmark

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It also contained warnings against women in confinement, midwives, witches (troldfolk) and so on. 138 Palladius makes use of a rhetoric that bears notable similarities to that of cardinal Scaglia. The strategy was clearly to get the clerical readers of the Book of Visitation to believe themselves to be part of a powerful authoritative community. Just as Scaglia’s colleagues within the Roman Inquisition enjoyed strong support from the Congregation in Rome in correctly administering their office, so the efforts of Palladius and his colleagues received the backing both of the Crown and the Church in their efforts to convert every parishioner to the Evangelical faith and to instruct them in its correct practice.

Indications of the pact having been made could be quite difficult to establish. 93 The desecration of Christian symbols and sacraments were seen as particularly odious signs of Marking the limits of transgression 27 the explicit pact. This could in practice involve magicians spitting or stamping on the cross. Rather than serving God, they agreed through the pact to serve the Devil in his battle against God. 94 Generally the majority of the inquisitorial trials involved an implicit pact with the Devil.

Others have maintained that the book must have been written with publication in mind. The manuscript was published in a new edition in 2003 by leading Danish Church historian Martin Schwartz Lausten. He regarded the Book of Visitation as a guide to younger parish priests, and if we accept this interpretation, the text acquires a similar status to cardinal Scaglia’s inquisitorial manual, which was a guide for younger colleagues (The Prattica). Like Scaglia’s Prattica, the Book of Visitation was not aimed solely at witchcraft.

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