On the Demon-Mania of Witches, by Jean Bodin
Translated by Randy A. Scott with an introduction by Jonathan L. Pearl.
Jean Bodin’s On the Demon-Mania of Witches (De la démonomanie des sorciers) was published in 1580 and quickly became one of the most widely read and translated works on witchcraft in Europe. Bodin (1529/30-1596), a lawyer and scholar, was greatly admired by his contemporaries. His works on politics, history and religion, especially his encyclopaedic Les six livres de la république (1576), contributed ideas and theories that have continued to attract the attention of researchers in a wide range of disciplines. The Demon-Mania is a passionately argued treatise on the reality and dangers of magic and witchcraft, which Bodin saw as a growing threat to the state. His treatise also makes detailed recommendations to judges for the effective prosecution of witchcraft cases. Professor Pearl’s introduction to the text situates it in the full context of Bodin’s thought and the historical experience of his age. The notes by the editors give the reader access to Bodin’s vast network of theological, classical, historical and legal sources. The Demon-Mania, appearing here in its first English translation, provides sharp insights into the mentality of a complex and bitterly divided age.
Randy A. Scott is Assistant Professor of Italian and Humanities at Atkinson College and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at York University.
Jonathan L. Pearl is Associate Professor of History at Scarborough College in the University of Toronto.
The Sixteenth Century Journal, 27:3 (Autumn 1996), p. 835. Reviewed by Jane P. Davidson.
Renaissance Quarterly, 51:3 (Autumn 1998), pp. 995-996. Reviewed by Julia M. Garrett.
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218 pp. / Softcover / ISBN 978-0-9697512-5-0 / $21.50 (Price includes applicable taxes, Shipping: $6.00 CAD in North America; $18.00 CAD International; prices may vary for bulk orders)