Professor Pavlac’s


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From the fifteenth to the eighteenth the centuries, many Europeans developed a heightened concern with the phenomenon of witchcraft, seeing a new sect hostile to humanity. Thus, governments and society organized "hunts" for these alleged witches: accusing, torturing, and executing thousands of people. The intensity and viciousness of these hunts varied from place to place, as did their focus on particular targets, such as women. Finally, a changed world-view, informed by the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment,brought an end to these hunts for threats that did not empirically exist.

Prof. Pavlac is available to give public lectures on the witch hunts, such as described here.

Ten Theories about the Causes of the Witch Hunts
ideas by historians about the origins ofthe Witch Hunts

Ten Common Errors and Myths about the Witch Hunts:
corrections to mistaken ideas people frequently have about the Witch Hunts

chronology of key events, sources and people involved in the witch hunts

Primary Source: Letters from the Witch Trial of Rebecca Lemp

a review of torture in the witch hunts and today.

Suffer your own persecution!
Try a witch hunt simulation:
link to Witch hunt

Older versions of these pages were part of Prof. Pavlac's Women's History Resource Site. They hope to contribute to a better understanding of this dreadful historical chapter of Western Civilization. These pages have been developed out of the following courses:

HIST 444 The Witch Hunts: 1400-1800 HIST 373 Women in Western Civilization
HIST 399A Special Topics in History for John Cabot University Summer 2013, Syllabus; Additional Material Other courses on the witch hunts.

Student work helped produce the following pages:

Annotated Bibliography:
brief evaluations of some books examining the Witch Hunts
Annotated Links:
brief evaluations of other websites which provide information about the Witch Hunts

URL: brianpavlac.org/witchhunts/
Prof. Pavlac's Witch Hunts
Witch Site creation: 2001 October 31
Last Revision: 2017 August 9

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