File Size: 1698 KB
Print Length: 432 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 16, 2009)
Publication Date: September 22, 2014
This is a monumental word -- evidence -- that one does not normally think revolutionary. However, when put in context of early on modern Germany -- which is not something that readily springs into many people's heads -- prior to careful study of the era, many people dismiss the early on modern period as a time when people were still clinging onto the 'ignorance of the Dark Age range. ' Dr . Robisheaux extremely proves the contrary. Without a doubt, parts of the evidence used in the trial are torture and testimonies by the locals. However, the fact that there was even a judicial process to determine guilt of a citizen of Langenburg shows a level of sophistication not usually associated with witch studies. While most people possess the belief that early modern community was backward, prejudiced, and unjust, this guide provides a strong counterargument.
The legal framework of legal experts, medical experts, and congress that we are so familiar today seem to be to originate from the identical platform presented in this guide! A new truly well-written microstudy that determines that legal systems take time to progress, 'The Last Witch of Langenburg' remains a compelling and exceptional book. Study it today, and you will be surprised with what you learn!, I really enjoyed the fact that author took the parts of view of all the major players in this trial: the forensic examiners, the court prelado, the court inquisitor, the expert advisers, and the peasants accused of witchcraft, chief among them Ould - Schmieg.
This allowed me personally to understand how much society has changed since those trials, how much the 3 decades war affected all involved, and what kind of communication distance lay between the peasants and the public authorities. Witchcraft was part of the fabric of the Langenburg society of that time. Law, religion and medicine were all tools to get at the truth.
The particular last chapter of the book tells what use the trial was put to retell the history of Anna Schmieg in various contexts which dished up later playwrights and authors in time since., Fascinating in-depth glimpse of early on Reformation German village life & the infancy of modern law., "The Previous Witch of Langenburg" is a great case study of the German witchcraft trial from the latter part of the Seventeenth Century. The particular author has done an enormous amount of research in the legal archives of the period and he techniques seamlessly from micro-history (the petty grievances of a little German town) to macro-history (the effect of the Reformation and the 30 Years' War on the German socio-political situation). He has a fantastic grasp of the psychology of the accusers, the accused, and the judges involved.
Anna Schmieg, the charged, had the misfortune to be married to the owner of a generator situated just outside the small German village of Langenburg. Mill-owners were thought by the peasantry of short-changing the local maqui berry farmers, hoarding grain, and adulterating their product. They were also suspected of allying themselves with satan to obtain protection for their mills, which were harmful working environments with their large grinding stones and running water. It did not help that during the Thirty Years' War, invading armies had starved the populace, only increasing the suspicion towards those engaged in the somewhat low profession of miller.
Small-town German life during this time period was filled with petty disputes, insults, and physical violence. The particular courts were jammed with cases involving personal disputes as well as ethical offenses. To defend the woman husband Hans, Anna Schmieg became something of a sharp-tongued shrew, eventually disliked by the townspeople around her.
On Shrove Tuesday, 1672, Anna sent her daughter Eva to deliver cakes to the woman neighbors. One of the neighbors, Anna Fessler, experienced given birth shortly before. After she ate one of the cakes, the lady died in horrible pain. An autopsy later showed that her intestines experienced literally exploded. Anna Schmieg, who'd had a prior dispute with Anna Fessler, was suspected not only of poisoning, but of witchcraft.
Yet, because the author points out, Ould - Schmieg's was not viewed as an open-and-shut case by any means. The german language jurisprudence during this period featured an uncanny mixture of rationalism, concern for proper process of regulation, superstition, and barbarism. Careful study of witnesses stood side-by-side with use of self applied to extract confessions. Fear of wrongful conviction of the innocent was mixed with credulity involving supernatural causes of illness and paranoia about allegiances with satanic forces. Erudite legislativo opinions filled with Latin phrases led to horrid fatalities at the gallows. The particular author captures the harsh and relentless process that led to the terrible executions of Anna Schmieg and another woman and the burning of their bodies at the stake. Along the way, we learn sobering lessons about how the irrational can swing the minds even of well-meaning and educated people.
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