Burn the Witch! Witches and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe *NEW*

From Poland to the Pyrenees, Europe experienced three centuries of intense hunting, prosecuting, and executing alleged witches. Some like Isobel Gowdie claimed to see extraordinary visions; others, such as the French “poison ring,” got caught up in high politics. But many were just unfortunate peasants of rural villages. Through case studies, we will examine how the fear of witches arose, how witches were depicted in this era, what people were charged with witchcraft, and what happened to them. We will also examine why the witch hunting craze died out and how traces remain in our culture today. Handouts and bibliography will be provided. Instructor: Brian Bixby