Differences Between Heinrich Kramer And Witches Of The Middle Ages

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Heinrich Kramer and Witches of the Middle Ages
Heinrich Kramer was an Inquisitor for the Pope Sixtus IV, serving Upper Germany and Tyrol. Being an unsuccessful Inquisitor and highly disliked as such, Kramer requested from the Pope to strictly one journey: to persecute witches. Kramer was granted the Papal Bull named Summis desiderantes affectibus, effective in 1484. This granted Kramer the full power backed by a Papal to persecute possible witchcraft. However, some argue that, since the Papal Bull was not issued during the time of the Malleus Malificarum, but before, raises suspicion in some scholars as to why this is. Some argue that the Papal Bull was never intended to back Kramer in the slightest. This was an odd time in the court system, …show more content…

The witches were at first tried for heresy, which was the act of going against the church, this was tried in the ecclesiastical court. However, when Kramer brought forth the Malleus Malificarum, one of the three parts he had written was how witches were to be prosecuted then how they were before. It demonstrated that the witches in question were instead of being tried under religious court, as they had been, but they were to be tried in secular court, which had the backing of the Malleus Malificarum, where the ecclesiastical court did not. The ecclesiastical court shied away from the Malleus Malificarum from ever becoming a part of the religious court. This was the manifestation of how they used, in Kramer’s terms, physical magic. This was a separate crime not only from going against the church as a heretic, but also committing a crime against the government. As in court today, people are tried for property damage, personal assault, etc. This was also used in trials in the medieval times as well, however, they were not as fair. Kramer’s definition of physical magic opened a new door which allowed these women to be prosecuted in secular court. Especially widows, women had no say in how their trial would be influenced, or how fair of a trial they would have. This included very personal questions asked in front of …show more content…

“The question’s goal is to “reinforce the late-medieval misogynist understanding of femininity”. Kramer sees that women were the most logical practitioners of magic, and the easiest targets. This was because magic was instinctually physical. like women, therefore women could easily create it as their own and hide it well, as opposed to more intelligent crimes, which were more accompanied with males because of the lack of the masculine touch.This also points to how simple women were as targets. Widows, outcasts, or even healers of European towns and villages kept to themselves, either by choice, or were handicapped, preventing them from mingling with the others. As the anticipation of witches grew, townspeople were becoming more suspicious of their neighbors. Unfortunately for the widows and outcasts, they were the first to be accused. Healers stood on their own, depending if the remedies for which they gave people was a positive or negative change in the

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