Cover image for The Arras Witch Treatises: Johannes Tinctor's Invectives contre la secte de vauderie and the Recollectio casus, status et condicionis Valdensium ydolatrarum by the Anonymous of Arras (1460) Edited and translated by Andrew Colin Gow

The Arras Witch Treatises

Johannes Tinctor's Invectives contre la secte de vauderie and the Recollectio casus, status et condicionis Valdensium ydolatrarum by the Anonymous of Arras (1460)

Edited and translated by Andrew Colin Gow, Robert B. Desjardins, and François V. Pageau

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$24.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-07128-2

168 pages
5.5" × 8.5"
1 map
2016

Magic in History Sourcebooks

The Arras Witch Treatises

Johannes Tinctor's Invectives contre la secte de vauderie and the Recollectio casus, status et condicionis Valdensium ydolatrarum by the Anonymous of Arras (1460)

Edited and translated by Andrew Colin Gow, Robert B. Desjardins, and François V. Pageau

“This important work sheds much light on the fifteenth-century origins of the witch craze. The ‘elaborated theory’ of witchcraft described here is absolutely fascinating, not just because it predates the classic era of witch hunting by a century but also because it was so incoherent and contentious and yet terrifyingly relevant to changing social and political conditions. This is a story about medieval superstition as well as the modernity of print and law and state building.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Subjects
This is the first complete and accessible English translation of two major source texts—Tinctor’s Invectives and the anonymous Recollectio—that arose from the notorious Arras witch hunts and trials in the mid-fifteenth century in France. These writings, by the “Anonymous of Arras” (believed to be the trial judge Jacques du Bois) and the intellectual Johannes Tinctor, offer valuable eyewitness perspectives on one of the very first mass trials and persecutions of alleged witches in European history. More importantly, they provide a window onto the early development of witchcraft theory and demonology in western Europe during the late medieval period—an entire generation before the infamous Witches’ Hammer appeared.

Perfect for the classroom, The Arras Witch Treatises includes a reader-friendly introduction situating the treatises and trials in their historical and intellectual contexts. Scholars, students, and others interested in the occult will find these translations invaluable.

“This important work sheds much light on the fifteenth-century origins of the witch craze. The ‘elaborated theory’ of witchcraft described here is absolutely fascinating, not just because it predates the classic era of witch hunting by a century but also because it was so incoherent and contentious and yet terrifyingly relevant to changing social and political conditions. This is a story about medieval superstition as well as the modernity of print and law and state building.”
“A fascinating glimpse into the mind-set of two promoters of witch hunting who defined demonic heresy and justified the use of cruel tactics to extract confessions. Revealing both similarity to and significant differences from other demonological works, The Arras Witch Treatises offers an exciting new resource for both teaching and scholarship.”
“This new volume offers readable translations with helpful outlines and notes. Reading the accounts written by churchmen whose learning and conviction made them very partial jurors, one gets an eerie picture of the mindset behind the witch craze in late medieval Europe.”
“[This] sourcebook presents a valuable contribution to the study of witchcraft and devil worship in the late medieval imagination. It is intelligible to lay readers, while scholars may find it useful as a brief overview of the Arras affair, with multiple references to more detailed studies on the topic.”

Andrew Colin Gow is Professor of History at the University of Alberta.

Robert B. Desjardins is an independent scholar and a graduate writing advisor at the University of Alberta.

François V. Pageau is a doctoral candidate in medieval history at the University of Alberta.

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Arras Witch Treatises in Context

Anonymous of Arras, A History of the Case, State and Condition of Waldensian Heretics (Witches)

Johannes Tinctor, Treatise Against the Sect of Waldensians (Witches)

Bibliography

Index