HST409 A History of Witchcraft: Popular Culture, Folk Magic, and Religious Reform in Europe in the 14th–17th Centuries (Fall)

History of witchcraft from various perspectives: its intellectual roots, the causes and dynamics of the witch-hunt, and the beliefs and self-perceptions of those who were called “witches”.

Examines the foundations of magic and witchcraft in the West. Starting from the categorization of such beliefs in the Late Antiquity, the course moves on to the formation of the stereotypical image of the witch between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. After an exploration of the connections between the witch-hunt and the religious persecutions of the Reformation period, we take a “grassroots” look at the role of popular magic and witchcraft in the village context.

Cross-listed with ANT/REL/WGS 409.

Department: History

Location: Florence

Semester: Fall

Credits: 3