The Malleus Maleficarum, manual of witch-hunters everywhere

From Scott Alexander’s website Astral Codex Ten: “Did you know you can just buy the Malleus Maleficarum? You can go into a bookstore and say “I would like the legendary manual of witch-hunters everywhere, the one that’s a plot device in dozens of tired fantasy novels”. They will sell it to you and you can read it. I recommend the Montague Summers translation. Not because it’s good (it isn’t), but because it’s by an slightly crazy 1920s Catholic priest every bit as paranoid as his subject matter.”

“The Malleus is traditionally attributed to 15th century theologians/witch-hunters Henry Kramer and James Sprenger, but most modern scholars think Kramer wrote it alone, then added the more famous Sprenger as a co-author for a sales boost. The book has three parts. Part 1 is basically Summa Theologica, except all the questions are about witches. Part 2 is basically the DSM 5, except every condition is witchcraft. Part 3 is a manual for judges presiding over witch trials.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: