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Frankie Reece Dr. Jeffery Watt History 356 November 18, 2002

595 words - 2 pages

Frankie Reece Dr. Jeffery Watt History 356 November 18, 2002 The Witch~Hunt in Early Modern Europe by Brian P. Levack In The Witch~Hunt in Early Modern Europe, Brian Levack attempts to provide updated information concerning the witch hunts which took place in Europe between 1450 and 1750. By breaking the book down into chapters on every possible influence on the witch hunts, Levack sets out to prove there is no definitive reason or explanation for the tragic number of unjust executions that took place.If Levack was trying to use confusion as the primary reason that no clear picture could be defined, he succeeded. As a reader I felt like I was constantly being run around in circles in the first few chapters. The information within each chapter, while at first interesting, was repeated and/or defined so repetively that I lost interest in what was being said. As well as the repetition of words and definitions, Levack jumped back and forth between centuries so often that it would have almost been better if he had just not tried to distinguish what specific time period he was talking about. In an effort to cover all aspects and possibilities, the book at first felt too general jumping from the use of hallucinogenics to old age to disease to fear to torture for the witch hunts.In the book, the author at first describes what exactly he is talking about in the chapter 'The Intellectual Foundations.' He defines what the concept of witchcraft was at the time and how the different beliefs of the Devil became involved. It seems at first, heresy was the crime which later evolved into witchcraft or maleficia. The next chapter, 'The Legal Foundations', gets a little more into the detail of...

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