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Compendium Maleficarum [Anglais] [Broché]

Francesco Maria Guazzo

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Première phrase
MANY authors have written at length concerning the force of imagination: for example Pico della Mirandola, De Imaginationibus; Marsilio Ficino, De Theologia Platonica, Book 13; Alonso Tostado, On Genesis, Chapter 30; Miguel de Medina, De Recta in Deum Fide, II, 7; Leonard Vair, De Fascino, II, 3; and countless others. Lire la première page
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5  14 commentaires
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Famous for its woodcuts - Text by Guazzo contradictory 23 novembre 2002
Par Markus Breuer - Publié sur
This book became famous because of the woodcuts, which display acts of witchcraft. The text itself was not scientific, even by 17 century standards.
This witch hunters manual was written by Guazzo, a rather uneducated italian monk, belonging to an obscure monastery, who had some local popularity among his farmers in northern italy, and who wrote this text to flatter one of his protectors.
It seems, that he compiled his knowledge from a multitude of sources, without integrating them into coherent framework.The structure of the book is rather unclear, and Summers hints, that the original was written in very poor 'monks latin'.Its theory is even more contradictory than the 'Malleus Malleficarum', and therefore it never became an authoritative source - not even inside the vatican.
It seems that this book's first edition in 1608 found very few readers,and that edition 2 in 1626 was published post mortem to commemorate a popular citizen, not to celebrate his 'science'.
It seems that the woodcuts appeared in the second edition to attract readers,because the text itself attracted little interest. By the way, it is possible, but can not be proven, that this book caused the witch hunt in MILANO in early 17th century.
Summary: minor source for history of witch hunt, famous for its superb woodcuts, not for its content,
57 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Deadly Piece of Literature 29 octobre 2001
Par Matthew S. Schweitzer - Publié sur
Like it's famous companion, the Malleus Maleficarum, the Compendium Maleficarum is one of the most famous witchhunting manuals of the late Renaissance. It was written at a time when belief in witches, demons, and devils was widespread across Europe and the Church was obsessed with stamping out heresy, freethinking, and the last vestiges of paganism, all of which it saw as a threat to its power and dominion. This book, which is a reprint of the orginal printed in 1608, is not what many would consider "fun" reading, as the text is long and laborious and filled with examples and effusive details of how to detect, interrogate, and execute witches. It also goes into great detail as to how one supposedly became a witch and the various rites and rituals that went along with it. It should be noted that this is not a guide on how to be a witch, nor does it have anything to do with modern Wicca. In fact, this book deals with superstitious beliefs in witchcraft and demons that clearly show the paranoid mindset promoted by the church and instilled in the generally credulous public in the early 17th century. It shows the fear, yet morbid fascination, that many people, clerics especially, had in regard to these dark subjects and the murderous lengths to which they would go to rid themselves of them. To the people of the 17th century, these beings were real and represented a real threat. The Church, as well as secular authorities and politicians, eagerly took advantage of these paranoias for their own purposes, whether it was to settle an old score or seize large amounts of money and property from suspected wealthy "witches". Even without these added misuses, mass hysteria and delusions were responsible for many thousands of tortures and deaths due to this book and its companions.
This edition includes a rather long and verbose introduction by the famous eccentric Montague Summers, who was well known for his great interest in witchcraft and the occult. Summers wrote and edited a large number of books on these subjects in the early 20th century and is truly an intersting character. His translations and re-editing of this book and the Malleus Maleficarum have made them available to a modern audience. Summers has often been criticized for his supportive views of these works and the actions of the Inqusition during the centuries of the witch hunts. It is interesting to read his thoughts of and praises for the likes of men like Guazzo, Kramer & Sprenger (authors of the Malleus Maleficarum), and the long litany of popes who issued Papal Bulls in support of the deadly machinations of the Inquisiton and their witch hunting offshoots. Keep in mind Summers was writing in the 20th century! It makes one wonder whether Summers really believed the things he wrote or if there was some other meaning behind them.
This is defiantely a book for anyone interested in the history of witchcraft and the occult. It presents a very interesting view on the pre-Enlightenment mindset as people were striving to shed the last superstitious remnants of the middle ages. It offers a frightening glimpse of an intolerant world of religious fundamentalism and widespread fear of the unknown.
24 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Misunderstood book 10 janvier 2003
Par John-Michael Sherrick - Publié sur
The Compendium Maleficarum, a minor treatise on witchcraft, is really a misunderstood book. First, the book reflects popular superstitions and theological opinions of the late medieval/early Renaissance period about witchcraft and many of the latter were never binding upon Cathollics as they were only theories. Some of the book could pass as orthodox Catholic demonology... some of it is quaint, imprecise, and bizarre. Second, the book was not an attack on paganism but upon Satanism as is obvious from even a cursory reading of the book. The literary quality is highly debatable. Fine prose passages filled with imagination, wit, and learning are by far outnumbered by sentimental, awkward, and/or brutal sections. The book is much more popular than academic in style; hence, its at times repetitive and dull examples comprise the bulk of the book. Of interest mainly to students of Church history. Keep in mind that the mishmash of opinions and information imparted by an obscure monk is not the infallible teaching of the Holy Catholic Faith.
16 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read for serious ocultism students 2 avril 2000
Par Hector Miranda - Publié sur
Yes, you should know that this book is written from a christian point of view. Yes, it is also a manual on witch-hunting. But this book is an historical masterpiece. You should read it as a critic, don't take it too personal; don't let your ego adhere to its pages. It is a sample of traditions from the past, very interesting; a must read!
11 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Historically Accurate - Brutally Realistic 14 décembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Excellent historical view of what it took to torture, maim, and brutalize 'witches'. This book contains some very interesting stories, along with instructions on 'prodding' a witch to tell you what you want, nay, need to hear. This is a book for historians and other sociopaths!
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