Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hammer Of The Witches

This month, Cambridge University Press will publish a new one-volume translation (from Latin to English) of Malleus Maleficarum -- The Hammer of the Witches, first published in 1486. It began like this:

Here beginneth auspiciously the first part
of this work. Question the First.

Whether the belief that there are such beings as witches is so essential a part of the Catholic faith that obstinately to maintain the opposite opinion manifestly savours of heresy,
and it was all downhill from there.

The Boston Globe has an interview with Christopher S. Mackay, translator, and a professor of history and classics at the University of Alberta. The interview is meant for the general public, complete with references to Harry Potter, but Mackay's clearly become familiar with the history of the period.

A one-volume, modern, translation will be convenient, although you can find the online version here.

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