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This book illuminates the origins of the great European witch hunts by placing early witch trials in the comparative light of other criminal proceedings in Basel, Lucerne and Nuremberg. The study reveals that the increasingly harsh treatment was paralleled by mounting judicial severity in general, as well as by a keen interest in social control.
Laura Patricia Stokes is Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University in California, USA. She has previously published articles on the integration of torture into ordinary judicial procedure and the development of the witch stereotype during the fifteenth century.
Table of Contents
Introduction The Advancing Death Penalty Procedures of Criminal Justice Social Control Before the Reformation The Witch Trials in Context Three Cases and a Model Conclusion