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The Hammer of Witches

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THE HAMMER OF WITCHES

The Malleus Maleficarum, first published in 1486, is the standard
medieval text on witchcraft and it remained in print throughout
the early modern period. Its descriptions of the evil acts of witches
and the ways to exterminate them continue to contribute to our
knowledge of early modern law, religion and society. Mackay’s
highly acclaimed translation, based on his extensive research and
detailed analysis of the Latin text, is the only complete English
version available, and the most reliable. Now available in a single
volume, this key text is at last accessible to students and scholars
of medieval history and literature. With detailed explanatory notes
and a guide to further reading, this volume offers a unique insight
into the fifteenth-century mind and its sense of sin, punishment
and retribution.
C h r i stopher S. M ac kay is Professor in the Department of
History and Classics at the University of Alberta. He is the author
of, among many books and articles, Ancient Rome: A Military and
Political History (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

THE HAMMER OF WITCHES
A Complete Translation of the Malleus Maleficarum

CHRISTOPHER S. MACKAY

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo
Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK
Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

Information on this title: 
© Christopher S. Mackay 2006, 2009
This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the
provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part
may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.
First published in print format 2009

ISBN-13

978-0-511-53982-4

eBook (EBL)

ISBN-13

978-0-521-74787-5

paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy
of urls for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication,
and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain,
accurate or appropriate.

Kelliae meae
Coniugi atque adiutrici
optimae

Contents

Maps

page viii

Introduction

1

Authors
Purpose of the work
Composition and publication of the work
Outline of the work
Sources
Disputed questions
Intellectual context
Role of women in sorcery
Historical background
Overall ass...
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