“Carnali Spurcitia Cum Demone Incubo” and “Vana Mulierum Opinio”: Witches’ Sexual Promiscuity as a Topic of Debate in the Courtroom and in Demonological Tracts of 15th century
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“Carnali Spurcitia Cum Demone Incubo” and “Vana Mulierum Opinio”: Witches’ Sexual Promiscuity as a Topic of Debate in the Courtroom and in Demonological Tracts of 15th century
Annotation
PII
S207987840001904-3-1
DOI
10.18254/S0001904-3-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Grigoriy Bakus 
Affiliation: ANO NICP “Tvercom”
Address: Russian Federation, Tver
Abstract
The paper deals with concept of carnal love as part of judicial investigation and demonological interpretations in the late 15th century. After the scandal failure in the trial of Helena Scheuberin and his departure from Innsbruck Heinrich Institoris wrote infamous Malleus Maleficarum, the massive handbook for a farther persecutions and apologia to his inquisitorial activities. Among other experientia we find a story of Scheuberin’s magical revenge, which repeats twice with some modifications of fabula during the second part of “Witch Hammer”. However, the key point of this book is the strong association of witches with demons and the sole role of this woman in the sorcery seems to be impossible. Two other large narratives from the Institoris’s personal accounts help us to reveal this pattern. These are stories of anonymous “witch from Breisach” and Anna de Mindelheim from Ravensburg. Each of them not only describes some cases of maleficia, but also points the incubus demon as part of so cold modus privatus, “private” mode of establishing magical contract with infernal powers. This point of view is unique for contemporary demonology and it explains the reason for Institoris’s interests in female sexuality. Some exampla from Johannes Nider’s Formicarius also tell the stories about the incubi demons, but describe them as separate form of devilish temptations of mankind, which has no direct connections with maleficia. There is some kind of paradox with the only bilingual treatise in the field of 15th century demonology – Ulrich Molitor’s De laniis et phitonices mulieribus, which describes the confessions of supposed witches about their sexual intercourses with incubi demons as foolish notions (uana mulierum opinio in latin or der weiber torchait in german). Thus three most popular books in the early demonology indicate controversial references of relations with incubi and their participations in the witchcraft and every one of them has independent strategy of interpretation.
Keywords
demonology, Malleus Maleficarum, narrative, carnal love, incubi demons, harmful magic, Innsbruck witch trial
Received
31.05.2017
Publication date
16.07.2017
Number of characters
55496
Number of purchasers
23
Views
4188
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0.0 (0 votes)
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