The Salazar Documents: Inquisitor Alonso de Salazar Frías and Others on the Basque Witch Persecution


Early in the 17th century the Western Pyrenees were riven by one of the greatest witch panics in history. The mountain villages were in uproar when villagers' children reported how they had been abducted during the night and taken to a witches’ sabbath. The abducters denounced by the "child-witches" were subjected to violence and illegal torture to wrest confessions from them. A series of eye-witness reports written by a Jesuit, a Bishop, and a Spanish Inquisitor show a surprising lack of interest in the demonological theories of their time, and analyse the phenomenon from its psychological, sociological and anthropological angles. Part One discusses the anatomy of this collective nightmare or dream-epidemic, and provides an introduction to a bilingual edition of the reports in Part Two.

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Gustav Henningsen, MA (1962) in Folklore, Dr. Phil. (1981), University of Copenhagen. Research Director at the Danish Folklore Archives (1962-2002). He is a leading figure in the International Renaissance of Inquisition Studies and his book The Witches' Advocate (1980) on the Spanish inquisitor Salazar has become a classic.
'This is definitely a fine, innovative book.'
José Pedro Paiva, Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion, 2005.

This helpful book outlines the skeptical attitude toward witchcraft expressed by a part of the ecclesiastical hierarchies; moreover it portrays religious and cultural life in the Basque Provinces during the first part of the seventeenth century.
MichaelaValente, Universita degli studi del Molise, Sixteenth Century Journal
Note on Editorial Principles and the Translation
Abbreviations and Conventions
List of Illustrations

The Salazar Documents
The Witchcraft Policy of the Spanish Inquisition
The Return of the Witch-Burning
The Mountains of Navarra
The Basque Witch-Craze
The Interpretation of Witchcraft

1. The Discovery of Witchcraft
2. The Disclosures of the Jesuit
3. The Recommendations of the Bishop
4. The Instructions of the Inquisition Council
5. The Investigations of Inquisitor Salazar
6. From the Battle over the Witches
7. The Final Resolution

Index (names, places, subjects)
All those interested in intellectual history, Renaissance Humanism, the history of philosophy, moral panics regarding child abuse, dream epidemics, witchcraft, the Spanish Inquisition, to include legal historians, criminologists, forensic psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, folklorists, hispanists.
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