Main CategoriesMagic and SorceryWicca, Neopaganism and Occultism Malleus Maleficarum of Kramer and Sprenger, The

Malleus Maleficarum of Kramer and Sprenger, The

Malleus Maleficarum of Kramer and Sprenger, The

Product no.: 0-486-22802-9
Kramer and Sprenger, two Dominican friars, traveled throughout northern Germany, delving into Inquisition records, talking with accused witches, and attending Inquisition trials.

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Publisher's Synopsis

The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for “The Hammer of Witches”, or “Hexenhammer” in German) is a comprehensive witch-hunter’s handbook first published in Germany in 1487 that grew into dozens of editions spread throughout Europe and had profound impact on witch trials on the Continent for about 200 years. This work is notorious for its use in the witch hunt hysteria which peaked in the mid-16th thru mid-seventeenth centuries.

Between the late 15th to late 18th century in Europe, hundreds of herbalists, village women, midwives, spinsters, mostly women of the “peasant working class,” were captured in a “climate of terror” unleashed on gullible citizens during a time of social upheaval when the mysteries of a printed book carried tremendous hegemonic weight (Gadon, 1989, p. 212).

The Malleus, written in response to Pope Innocent VII’s 1484 declaration of Witchcraft as heresy, was used in Europe for more than three hundred years as a “guidebook” (Lovelace, 2006) for the identification and persecution of those charged with the crime of Witchcraft, extending and refining the power of the Inquisition (Gadon, 1989).


"Certain it is that the Malleus Maleficarum is the most solid, the most important work in the whole vast library of witchcraft. One turns to it again and again with edification and interest: From the point of psychology, from the point of jurisprudence, from the point of history, it is supreme. It has hardly too much to say that later writers, great as they are, have done little more than draw from the seemingly inexhaustible wells of wisdom which the two Dominicans, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, have given us."      ~Montague Summers


“And what, then, is to be thought of those witches who in this way sometimes collect male organs in great numbers, as many as twenty or thirty members together, and put them in a bird’s nest, or shut them up in a box, where they move themselves like living members, and eat oats and corn, as has been seen by many and is a matter of common report? It is to be said that it is all done by devil’s work and illusion, for the senses of those who see them are deluded in the way we have said.

For a certain man tells that, when he had lost his member, he approached a known witch to ask her to restore it to him. She told the afflicted man to climb a certain tree, and that he might take which he liked out of the nest in which there were several members. And when he tried to take a big one, the witch said: You must not take that one; adding, because it belongs to a parish priest.”

Author Kramer, Heinrich
Coauthor Sprenger, James
Translator Summers, Montague
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 277 pp.
Publisher Dover Publications 1971
Browse these categories as well: Wicca, Neopaganism and Occultism, The Early Church and Gnosticism, Mystic and Esoteric Christianity

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