Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/47

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most preposterous and at the same time most pernicioiis book ever printed " ; and the Spanish Dominican Nicholas Cymericus, who composed a systematic manual for the use of persecutors entitled Directoriwn Inquisitorum (first printed at Rome in 1503); and a treatise, Tractatus contra Dcemotium Invocatores, in which he maintained that sorcery is heresy and should be punished by the Court of Inquisition. Works of a like character were Flagellum HcerefAcorum Fascinariorum, by the Dominician Nicholas Jaquier; De Strigiis, by the Dominican Bernard of Como; De Strigima- garum Dcemonumque Mirandis, by the master of the holy apos- tolical palace and general of the Dominicans, Silvester Mazzolino Prierias; Novus Malleus Maleficarum (New Witches' Hammer), by the Dominican Bartholomew de Spina; Disquisitiones Magicce, by the Spanish Jesuit Martin Delrio; and Processus Juridicus contra Sagas, by the Munich Jesuit Paul Laymann.*

Equally untenable is the statement that no person was ever burned as a witch in Rome. The Roman chronicler Stefano In- fessura, in his Diariuni Urhis Romw, describes the burning of a witch named Finicella, for having " in a diabolical manner killed many creatures and injured others." The execution took place on June 8, 1424, and " all Rome went to see it." Again, in the CJironicon Generale of Andreas von Regensburg it is recorded that during the pontificate of Martin Y a cat killed several infants in their cradles. A shrewd man wounded the cat with a sword, and, following the traces of its blood, discovered that the animal was really an old woman, who lived in the house of a chiromancer and changed herself into a- cat in order to suck the blood of chil- dren and thus prolong her own life. This anticipation of the modem theory of the transfusion of blood caused the old hag to be tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake. The Munich occultist and alchemist Dr. Joliann Hartlieb, in the thirty-third chapter of his Buck alter verhotenen Kunst, Unglaubens und der Zauherei,j-

  • One of the severest charges brought by the Dominican friar Father Concinna against

"Luther, Melanchthon, and their confederates" was that they did not believe in the exist- ence of witches ; unfortunately, the accusation is untrue, but it proves the strong desire of Catholic writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to claim for the papacy the sole honor of being sound on the witchcraft question. In the early part of the sixteenth century the jurist Franz Fonzimibius wrote a treatise, in which he ventured to utter opinions of hie own concerning witches. Bartholomew de Spina, in the work above mentioned (page 202), takes him to task for his impudence. " That a mere lawyer," he says, " should discuss a theological subject and set himself in opposition to profound theologians, such as the in- quisitors commonly are, betrays extreme arrogance and can excite only the scorn and deri- sion of all persons of discernment. I wonder at the effrontery of this man, and shudder."

f This book, written in 1456, has been handed down to us in three manuscripts, one in Wolfenbiittel, a second (incomplete) in Dresden, and a third in Heidelberg. This last con- sists of seventy-eight sheets in octavo, and bears the date 1558; at the end is the name of

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