Innocent, like his predecessor, hated heresy, and in the bull Summis desiderantes (5th of December 1484) he instigated very severe measures against magicians and witches in Germany; he prohibited (1486) on pain of excommunication the reading of the propositions of Pico della Mirandola; he appointed (1487) T.
The chief features of this epoch -the Antinomian dissensions, the Quaker and Baptist persecutions, the witchcraft delusion (four witches were executed in Boston, in 1648, 165r, 1656, 1688) &c.-are referred to in the article Massachusetts.
But he taught that the state may interfere with legal or public duties only, and not with moral or private ones; He would not have even atheists punished, though they should be expelled the country, and he came forward as an earnest opponent of the prosecution of witches and of the use of torture.
Himself regarded by most of his contemporaries as a sceptic, and by some as an atheist, he denounced all who dared to disbelieve in sorcery, and urged the burning of witches and wizards.
Its somewhat gloomy aspect, enhanced by the tortuous narrow lanes flanked by gabled houses of the 15th century, has gained for it among countryfolk the sobriquet of the "Witches' nest" (Hexen-Nest).
We hear also a good deal of witches and valkyries, and of charms and magic; as an instance we may cite the fact that certain (Runic) letters were credited, as in the North, with the power of loosening bonds.
It is absurd to make this document responsible for the introduction of the bloody persecution of witches; for, according to the Sachsenspiegel, the civil law already punished sorcery with death.
Ten girls, aged nine to seventeen years, two of them house servants, met during the winter of1691-1692in the home of Samuel Parris, pastor of the Salem Village church, and after learning palmistry and various "magic" tricks from Parris's West Indian slave, Tituba, and influenced doubtless by current talk about witches, accused Tituba and two old women of bewitching them.
The older incantations, associated with Ea, were re-edited so as to give to Marduk the supreme power over demons, witches and sorcerers; the hymns and lamentations composed for the cult of Bel, Shamash and of Adad were transformed into paeans and appeals to Marduk, while the ancient myths arising in the various religious and political centres underwent a similar process of adaptation to changed conditions, and as a consequence their original meaning was obscured by the endeavour to assign all mighty deeds and acts, originally symbolical of the change of seasons or of occurrences in nature, to the patron deity of Babylon - the supreme head of the entire Babylonian pantheon.
Many curious superstitions survive in the country districts, including the beliefs in witches (feitigeiras, bruxas) and werewolves (lobishomens); in sirens (sereias) which haunt the dangerous coast and lure fishermen to destruction; in fairies (fadas) and in many kinds of enchantment.
One wicked witch named Mombi stole him and carried him away, keeping him as a prisoner.
Then the Witches divided up the kingdom, and ruled the four parts of it until you came here.
"But, at that time," said the Wizard, thoughtfully, "there were two Good Witches and two Wicked Witches ruling in the land."
For a long time the ghosts and witches pursued me even into Dreamland.
I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.
Hussars, ladies, witches, clowns, and bears, after clearing their throats and wiping the hoarfrost from their faces in the vestibule, came into the ballroom where candles were hurriedly lighted.