On this page I provide basic information about the Malleus Maleficarum. The main aim however, is to describe how the book influences the actions of the characters in the novel The Witch Hunter’s Amulet.
In ‘The Witch Hunter’s Amulet’, Manuel Andrade travels to Goa bringing a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum with him. The book rarely leaves his side and he refers to it constantly in carrying out his duties as a witch hunter.
The Witch Hunter translates the Latin title as: The Hammer of Witches, which destroyeth Witches and their heresy like a most powerful spear.
The Malleus Maleficarum, known also as the Hammer of Witches, published in 1487 was written by Heinrich Kramer. The book is divided in three sections.
As part of the preface of the Malleus Maleficarum, a papal bull was included. This inferred that the book had complete approval by the Pope and of the Catholic Church to prosecute witches. Andrade uses the book to gain the cooperation of the courts to assist him in doing his work of witch hunting–his motivation is to seize the assets of the witch. For this reason, the targets for prosecution were usually wealthy women.
The first section of the Malleus Maleficarum argues that witches exist to help the Devil. According to the Malleus, “all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.”
The second section deals with the powers of witches, their recruitment strategies and actual cases are discussed. It details how witches cast spells, and provides remedies that can be taken to prevent witchcraft.
The third section deals with legal arguments and details the procedures in prosecuting witches. It gives a step-by-step guide on how to conduct of a witch trial and includes methods of interrogation and torture.
I will be updating this page from time to time. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions. Thanks for your visit.
The Witch Hunter’s Amulet is available in e-book format or as a paperback from Amazon.com. And also directly from the publisher, Christopher Matthews Publishing.
One response to “Malleus Maleficarum”
Very interesting, Marco