Sunday, July 18, 2010

Male Witches

Male Witches Cover Robin Briggs calculates that 20 to 25 percent of Europeans executed for witchcraft between the 14th and 17th centuries were male. Regional variations are again notable. France was "a fascinating exception to the wider pattern, for over much of the country witchcraft seems to have had no obvious link with gender at all. Of nearly 1,300 witches whose cases went to the parlement of Paris on appeal, just over half were men. ... The great majority of the men accused were poor peasants and artisans, a fairly representative sample of the ordinary population." Briggs adds:

There are some extreme cases in peripheral regions of Europe, with men accounting for 90 percent of the accused in Iceland, 60 percent in Estonia and nearly 50 per cent in Finland. On the other hand, there are regions where 90 per cent or more of known witches were women; these include Hungary, Denmark and England. The fact that many recent writers on the subject have relied on English and north American evidence has probably encouraged an error of perspective here, with the overwhelming predominance of female suspects in these areas (also characterized by low rates of persecution) being assumed to be typical. Nor is it the case that the courts treated male suspects more favourably; the conviction rates are usually much the same for both sexes. (Briggs, Witches & Neighbours: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft, pp. 260-61.)

Books You Might Enjoy:

Aleister Crowley - White Stains
Carl Mccolman - The Well Read Witch
Margaret Alice Murray - God Of The Whitches
Aristotle - On The Soul
Marian Green - A Witch Alone

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