Witchcraft Timemap

This map, created on Timemapper.org, shows a general timeline and area of the witch hunts of Europe. These hunts were mainly focused in the German and Eastern Europe area, and spread into Scotland and the United Kingdom in the late 16th century. These witch hunts and trials were generally targeted at women, although up to 20% of the accused may have been men, and the fear was that the accused were working with or taken by the devil.

Through the artefacts listed, it is clear to see how communications in the witch hunts worked. Mainly through printed images, word was spread to the illiterate and books such as the Malleus Malecarfieum were written to instruct clergy members about the witches that they were living among. The witch hunts were happening at a time of increased communication due to the printing press being in development, and it was easy for word to spread.

Technology in the more general sense also played a part in the witch hunts through torture devices. The “interrogation chair” is listed on the map, and in the “interrogation chair” the victims may also fall prey to “the breast ripper”. These items were developed for use of torture specifically, and used for one general purpose. 

Through art, communication, and technology, it is easy to get a clear picture of the witch trials in the early modern period of Europe.

In this project, I used both direct primary sources such as Daemonologie and the Malleus Maleficarium and academic secondary sources. I also used many primary images sources. For the primary sources, I was able to place them in the historical timeline, while the secondary sources allowed me to analyze and explain their place in history. For example, the images of the Witches Sabbath were not useful to me until I read up on the history of them from an expert. Using both the primary and secondary sources allowed me to engage directly with the history of the time along with take a step back and learn about why these artefacts were there.

You can view the map here. 

Written and Created by Abigail Sherlock, Film and Television Production Major, LMU '20

Witchcraft Timemap