Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Between the Devil and the HostImagining Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Ostling

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587902.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021



(p.10) (p.11) 1 Contexts
Between the Devil and the Host

Michael Ostling

Oxford University Press

Until very recently, the historiography of witchcraft in Poland treated the subject as an object lesson in the dangers of fanaticism, superstition, and feudal oppression; only in the last fifteen years have new studies challenged this view. It is difficult to estimate the number of trials of accused and of executed witches, due to the destruction of archives during World War II. Estimates from the mid-twentieth century are certainly far too high. Minimum figures of 558 executed, out of 1,316 accused in 867 trials, have been established by Małgorzata Pilaszek; a reasonable estimate of executions might be in the range of 2,000. Accused witches were overwhelmingly peasants or commoner townspeople, more than 90 percent were women; many were married and there is no clear pattern related to age.

Keywords:   historiography of witchcraft, fanaticism, archives, number of trials, demographics, peasants, women

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .