Cover image for Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates: Witch-Hunting in Navarre, 1608–1614 By Lu Ann Homza

Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates

Witch-Hunting in Navarre, 1608–1614

Lu Ann Homza

PRE-ORDER, Ships January 18

$104.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09181-5

260 pages
6" × 9"
1 map
2022

Iberian Encounter and Exchange, 475–1755

Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates

Witch-Hunting in Navarre, 1608–1614

Lu Ann Homza

“Homza’s research brings to the table a wealth of materials previously neglected or overlooked. Bristling with new and important insights into the village dynamics underlying Spain’s only serious witchcraze, Homza examines it from two quite different perspectives: that of the men, women, and most originally, the children implicated in individual accusations of witchcraft, and that of the learned inquisitors charged with investigation of individual cases. She also successfully positions the Navarre witchcraze within the wider compass of recent historiography on witches and witchcrazes in other parts of early modern Europe. This remarkably readable, comprehensive, insightful and nuanced study deserves a wide audience.”

 

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  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
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This book revises what we thought we knew about one of the most famous witch hunts in European history. Between 1608 and 1614, thousands of witchcraft accusations were leveled against men, women, and children in the northern Spanish kingdom of Navarre. The Inquisition intervened quickly but incompetently, and the denunciations continued to accelerate. As the phenomenon spread, children began to play a crucial role. Not only were they reportedly victims of the witches’ harmful magic, but hundreds of them also insisted that witches were taking them to the Devil’s gatherings against their will.

Presenting important archival discoveries, Lu Ann Homza restores the perspectives of illiterate, Basque-speaking individuals to the history of this shocking event and demonstrates what could happen when the Spanish Inquisition tried to take charge of a liminal space. Because the Spanish Inquisition was the body putting those accused of witchcraft on trial, modern scholars have depended upon Inquisition sources for their research. Homza’s groundbreaking book combines new readings of the Inquisitional evidence with fresh archival finds from non-Inquisitional sources, including local secular and religious courts, and from notarial and census records.

Expanding our understanding of this witch hunt as well as the history of children, community norms, and legal expertise in early modern Europe, Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates is required reading for students and scholars of the Spanish Inquisition and the history of witchcraft in early modern Europe.

“Homza’s research brings to the table a wealth of materials previously neglected or overlooked. Bristling with new and important insights into the village dynamics underlying Spain’s only serious witchcraze, Homza examines it from two quite different perspectives: that of the men, women, and most originally, the children implicated in individual accusations of witchcraft, and that of the learned inquisitors charged with investigation of individual cases. She also successfully positions the Navarre witchcraze within the wider compass of recent historiography on witches and witchcrazes in other parts of early modern Europe. This remarkably readable, comprehensive, insightful and nuanced study deserves a wide audience.”
Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates employs a wide range of sources to provide a multi-angled view of the hunt as it developed. It also takes into account important developments in the field of history, principally in terms of social history and history-from-below, allowing for a startling and much-needed degree of revisionism. Its interpretation is new and greatly welcome. It will be a very important and widely cited book.”

Lu Ann Homza is Professor of European History at William & Mary. She is the author of The Spanish Inquisition, 1478–1616: An Anthology of Sources and Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance.

Acknowledgements

Introduction

1. Trauma

2. Spiritual and Social Combat

3. Legal Decisions, Legal Errors

4. Collaboration, Obedience, Resistance

5. Transgressions and Solutions

Epilogue

Notes

Bibliography

Index