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If you're on this page, then either two things have happened; first, you're already a fan of the show and have come for new episodes, information, or to contact me. If so, welcome back! Scroll down to find episodes of the History of Witchcraft, or look to the top of the page for information to contact me.

The second reason you might be here is that you've stumbled across a link in a recommendation and are wondering what on earth this is all about. Simply put, this is the history podcast on all things magical, where we examine notable beliefs in witchcraft or the supernatural, and how these beliefs sometimes let to bloodshed. Fun stuff! If you want to know more, click 'About' at the top of the page!

Sep 4, 2017

John Calvin's role in the history of Geneva is hotly debated to this day, and the city gained a reputation for cruel and excessive witchtrials. We discover exactly how terrible these trials were, and whether or not Calvin deserves the blame for Geneva's attitude towards witchcraft. We also consider the events to the east of the republic, where the greedy motivations of a tyrannical lord resulted in a catastrophic witch hunt which eventually led to the creation of a modern European state.


This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

  • Kieckhefer, R. ‘Witch Trials in Medieval Europe’, in Oldridge D., (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, (London, 2002)

  • William Monter, E. ‘The Sociology of Jura Witchcraft’, in Oldridge D., (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, (London, 2002)

  • Ankerloo, B. and Clark, S. (eds.) Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials, (London, 2002)
  • William Monter, E., Witchcraft in France and Switzerland (Cornell, 1976)

  • Robisheaux, T. 'The German Witch Trials', in Levack, B. P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America, (Oxford, 2013)