Werewolf : the images and trials in France and Bedburg (1500–1610)
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, History
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201311211904
|Publish Date:|| 2013-11-25
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Werewolf: The Images and Trials in France and Bedburg (1500–1610) is about the image of werewolves in the early modern society. The thesis aims at reconstructing the past and paving a new way for witchcraft studies. Five cases were selected from France and the Holy Roman Empire between 16th and 17th century in order to study the image of werewolf and its meaning.
Werewolves were seen as sorcerers since they were said to have made a pact with the Devil. Given the tools or supernatural power, they were thought to be able to metamorphose themselves into werewolf and kill young children. Some of them were said to have attended to sabbats and committed incest. The notorious image of werewolf probably presented a mirror-image to the people that they should not behave in such ways.
The series of murders probably worried the villagers who turned to local elites for help. The local elites and courts took the responsibility of investigation, and the interrogation procedures were adopted in both countries. New interrogation procedures were introduced and found in the trials. Evidence, witnesses’ testimonies and confessions of the accused were important to reach the verdict. After the accused was judged, the sentence would be sent to a higher court for the review. Although it was more commonly found in the French werewolf trials, this appellate tradition witnessed the breakthrough in the legal system.
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