Visit Website Did you know? In an effort to explain by scientific means the strange afflictions suffered by those "bewitched" Salem residents ina study published in Science magazine in cited the fungus ergot found in rye, wheat and other cerealswhich toxicologists say can cause symptoms such as delusions, vomiting and muscle spasms. In January9-year-old Elizabeth Betty Parris and year-old Abigail Williams the daughter and niece of Samuel Parris, minister of Salem Village began having fits, including violent contortions and uncontrollable outbursts of screaming. After a local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed bewitchment, other young girls in the community began to exhibit similar symptoms, including Ann Putnam Jr.
Anthropology of religion and Human sacrifice The wide distribution of the practice of witch-hunts in geographically and culturally separated societies Europe, Africa, India, New Guinea since the s has triggered interest in the anthropological background of this behaviour.
The belief in magic and divinationand attempts to use magic to influence personal well-being to increase life, win love, etc. Belief in witchcraft has been shown to have similarities in societies throughout the world. It presents a framework to explain the occurrence of otherwise random misfortunes such as sickness or death, and the witch sorcerer provides an image of evil.
Magic in the ancient world Ancient Near East[ edit ] Punishment for malevolent sorcery is addressed in the earliest law codes which were preserved; in both ancient Egypt and Babyloniawhere it played a conspicuous part. The Code of Hammurabi 18th century BC short chronology prescribes that If a man has put a spell upon another man and it is not yet justified, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river; into the holy river shall he plunge.
If the holy river overcome him and he is drowned, the man who put the spell upon him shall take possession of his house. If the holy river declares him innocent and he remains unharmed the man who laid the spell shall be put to death.
He that plunged into the river shall take possession of the house of him who laid the spell upon him. In BC, women were executed as witches in the context of an epidemic illness. Livy emphasizes that this was a scale of persecution without precedent in Rome.
In BC, the Roman senate issued a decree severely restricting the Bacchanals, ecstatic rites celebrated in honor of Dionysus.
Livy records that this persecution was because "there was nothing wicked, nothing flagitious, that had not been practiced among them". There is no way to verify the figures reported by Roman historians, but if they are taken at face value,[ citation needed ] the scale of the witch-hunts in the Roman Republic in relation to the population of Italy at the time far exceeded anything that took place during the "classical" witch-craze in Early Modern Europe.
This law banned the trading and possession of harmful drugs and poisons, possession of magical books and other occult paraphernalia. StraboGaius Maecenas and Cassius Dio all reiterate the traditional Roman opposition against sorcery and divination, and Tacitus used the term religio-superstitio to class these outlawed observances.
Emperor Augustus strengthened legislation aimed at curbing these practices, for instance in 31 BC, by burning over 2, magical books in Rome, except for certain portions of the hallowed Sibylline Books. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord"; and Exodus In the Judaean Second Temple periodRabbi Simeon ben Shetach in the 1st century BC is reported to have sentenced to death eighty women who had been charged with witchcraft on a single day in Ashkelon.
Later the women's relatives took revenge by bringing reportedly false witnesses against Simeon's son and causing him to be executed in turn. The ancient fabled King Filimer is said to have found among his people certain witches, whom he called in his native tongue Haliurunnae.
Suspecting these women, he expelled them from the midst of his race and compelled them to wander in solitary exile afar from his army. There the unclean spirits, who beheld them as they wandered through the wilderness, bestowed their embraces upon them and begat this savage race, which dwelt at first in the swamps, a stunted, foul and puny tribe, scarcely human, and having no language save one which bore but slight resemblance to human speech.
This mild approach represented the view of the Church for many centuries. The general desire of the Catholic Church 's clergy to check fanaticism about witchcraft and necromancy is shown in the decrees of the Council of Paderbornwhich, inexplicitly outlawed condemning people as witches and condemned to death anyone who burnt a witch.
The Lombard code of states: Let nobody presume to kill a foreign serving maid or female servant as a witch, for it is not possible, nor ought to be believed by Christian minds.
Other examples include an Irish synod in and a sermon by Agobard of Lyons Burchard was writing against the superstitious belief in magical potions, for instance, that may produce impotence or abortion. These were also condemned by several Church Fathers.
Such, for example, were nocturnal riding through the air, the changing of a person's disposition from love to hate, the control of thunder, rain, and sunshine, the transformation of a man into an animal, the intercourse of incubi and succubi with human beings and other such superstitions.
Not only the attempt to practice such things, but the very belief in their possibility, is treated by Burchard as false and superstitious. Neither were these the only examples of an effort to prevent unjust suspicion to which such poor creatures might be exposed. This, for instance, is the general purport of the book, Contra insulsam vulgi opinionem de grandine et tonitruis "Against the foolish belief of the common sort concerning hail and thunder"written by Agobard d.
And we have ordained respecting witch-crafts, and lybacs [read lyblac "sorcery"], and morthdaeds ["murder, mortal sin"]: But if he will deny it, and at threefold ordeal shall be guilty; that he be days in prison: However, Pope Nicholas Iprohibited the use of torture altogether, and a similar decree may be found in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.
Although it has been proposed that the witch-hunt developed in Europe from the early 14th century, after the Cathars and the Templar Knights were suppressed, this hypothesis has been rejected independently by two historians Cohn ; Kieckhefer InPope Alexander IV declared a canon that alleged witchcraft was not to be investigated by the Church.
In the case of the Madonna Orientethe Inquisition of Milan was not sure what to do with two women who in confessed to have participated the society around Signora Oriente or Diana.Calgary, Alberta Concerts & Performances lists all the main events coming to town. For a dose of culture, visit the theatre, the opera or the symphony.
How Satan Came to Salem. The real story of the witch trials described the witch scare as a kind of reactionary political spasm in response to . Jun 19, · In , the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed 20 men and women after a Salem court found them guilty of witchcraft. Nineteen were hanged, one was crushed to .
Abigail Williams in The Crucible by Arthur Miller - The Crucible is a powerful and disturbing drama based on a true event from American history: The Salem Witch Trials of A masterful work accurately details the current consensus of what exactly occurred to prompt the colonial witch-trials.
Salem witch trials: Salem witch trials, in American history, individuals from as allegorical stand-ins for the anticommunist hearing led by Sen.
Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare of the s. for the witchcraft hysteria of Salem in Despite the fact that Increase and Cotton Mather believed in witches—as did most of the.