The Salem Witch Trials And The Great Witch Essay

1153 Words May 4th, 2015 5 Pages
Boiled in oil and pierced with thin needles. Cut with silver daggers and burned in crucibles. Peeled off the skin, inch by inch. This was how executioners and judges handled pagans and witches in 16th century France. From 1560 to 1630, over 60,000 accused European witches died in the largest witch hunt in recorded history: the Great Witch Craze. Women especially were accused for a myriad of illogical reasons: being angry with a neighbor whose livestock fell ill or speaking out against the actions of the Church. Many scholars such as Nachman Ben-Yehuda believe that the European Craze was worst in France and Germany, though American scholars often claim the infamous Salem trials were the worst. The Salem Witch Trials are perhaps the most well known of all the hunts during the Great Witch Craze of the 16th century, and the German Hexenjagd the hunt with the most deaths. However, the hunt with the most brutal forms of torture and execution style was the Mort aux sorcières, the French witch trials. Because of the brutal methods used, the French Mort aux sorcières was by far the worst witch hunt during the Craze. What is witchcraft? How does one define a witch? Witches often define themselves as spellcasters, and people who respect nature and believe in a circle of birth, life, and death. Wicca is a religion that is commonly mistaken as being the same thing as witchcraft, though the two are not mutually exclusive. Wiccans worship multiple gods and goddesses, though there are two…

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