136 years of its existence. No coverage is given here to the period 1615 1834, when the Holy Office continued to try hundreds of defendants for superstitions, including witchcraft and pacts with the devil. The sources selected and excerpted are useful both for teaching and for the nonspecialist to get a better understanding of how the Inquisition operated. One caveat is that many of the trials presented here have been shortened to such an extent that the reader is left with the impression of trials that were much quicker and less bureaucratic than the original documents reveal. This is a challenge for any anthology. On one hand, many Inquisition trial transcripts are longer than this book, and are very repetitious as the same information is repeated time after time during the course of the trial. This was part of the reality of an inquisitorial proceeding, and is familiar to anyone working with these sources. On the other hand, a collection of documents such as this will aim to shed light on as many aspects of the Inquisition and its activities in as few pages as possible. Homza has succeeded in this, but at the expense of hiding how
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: May 11, 2008
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