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Jun 12, 2017

The deadliest trials of the Early Modern Period were also the ones with the greatest number of young victims. Children as young as seven are recorded as being tortured and executed for the crime of witchcraft. Fleeing the city was not enough; extradition was actively sought for those suspected of the crime, and it was often granted. Prince-Bishop Phillip Adolf von Ehrenberg, the 'Iron Bishop', led the charge, not even sparing his young nephew from the stake.


Truly, Würzburg symbolises everything wrong with the witch panics of this period.

This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:

Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1530)

Del Rio, Martin, Disquisitiones Magicae, (1599)

Weyer, Johann, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563)

Spee, Friedrich, Cautio Criminalis (1531)

Remy, Nicholas, Demonolatry (1595)

Oldridge, Darren, (ed.) The Witchcraft Reader, London, 2002

Midelfort, H. C. Erik, Witch Hunting in South-Western Germany, 1972

Barry, Jonathan and Davies, Owen, Palgrave Advances in Witchcraft Historiography, 2007