DISCOVERIE OF WITCHCRAFT REGINALD SCOT PDF

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The Discoverie of Witchcraft. Reginald Scot. They sacrifice their owne children to the divell before baptisme, holding them up in the aire unto him, and then thrust a needle into their braines … They use incestuous adulterie with spirits … They eate the flesh and drinke the bloud of men and children openlie … They kill mens cattell … They bewitch mens corne … They ride and flie in the aire, bring stormes, make tempests … They use venerie with a divell called Incubus and have children by them, which become the best witches … In , when there were few who would even defend witches against these charges, Reginald Scot went one step further.

He actually set out to prove that witches did not and could not exist! King James later found Scot's opinion so heretical that he ordered all copies of his book to be burned. But so rich and full of data on the charges against witches, on witch trials and on the actual practice of the black arts was Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft that it remained a much-used source throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is still one of the few primary sources for the study of witchcraft today.

At the heart of Scot's book are stories and charges pulled from the writers of the Inquisition about the supposed nature of witches. Scot believed that the utter absurdity of the facts would be enough to stop belief in witchcraft forever.

But he also goes on to give opinions of medical authorities, interviews with those convicted of witchcraft, and details about the two-faced practices of those in charge of the inquisitions to show even further why the charges of witchcraft were simply not true. In later chapters Scot details the other side of the question through a study of the black arts that are not purely imaginary.

He discusses poisoners, jugglers, conjurers, charmers, soothsayers, figure-casters, dreamers, alchemists, and astrologers and, in turn, sets down the actual practices of each group and shows how the acts depend not upon the devil but upon either trickery or skill.

In the process, many of the magician's secrets and much other folk and professional lore of the time is made available to the reader of today. Shortly after the Spanish Inquisition, directly in the wake of Sprenger and Kramer's Malleus Maleficarum, during the great upsurge of witch trials in Britain, Scot was a direct witness to the witchmonger in one of witch-hunting's bloodiest eras.

Whatever your interest in witchcraft — either historical, psychological, or sympathetic — Scot, in his disproof, tells you much more about the subject than the many, many contemporary writers on the other side of the question.

What would ensue if witches confessions. How to procure the dissolving of bewitched love. Chapter II. Chapter IX. A great objection answered concerning this kind. Who have power to drive awaie divels with their. Who are privileged from witches what bodies are Chapter IX.

The houres wherin principall divels may be When to talke with spirits and to have true. A confutation of conjuration especiallie of. Alicence for Sibylia to go and come by at all times The seven reasons why some are not rid of.

Lessons read in all churches where the pope hath. Apollo who was called Pytho compared to. A comparison betwixt Pharaos magicians and our gler with words can hurt and helpe kill. The Discoverie of Witchcraft Dover Occult.

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The Discoverie of Witchcraft

The Discoverie of Witchcraft is considered to be the first published book on witchcraft, and is a wonderful record of superstition and belief in witchcraft, spirits, alchemy and magic in the 16th century. Reginald Scot was born in or around in Kent into a landed English family. He married twice, having one child from his first marriage and one step child from his second. He left Oxford University without completing his degree and went hold to hold a number of posts and positions, including Member of Parliament for New Romney. He died in When Scot published his book in , almost everyone believed in witchcraft or magic in some form or another.

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Human beings are naturally endowed with the ability to reason, but that reason is a far cry from a belief in a world governed by immutable natural laws. This is why I consider scientific education to be very important on a societal level; ignorance and fear combined with credulity can lead to devastating consequences: the bloody period of witch hunting in Europe resulted in somewhere between 40, and , executions, a colossal waste of life and perversion of justice. It is frightening to note that such times are not completely behind us. In the midst of such times of ignorance and superstition, however, there are always shining pillars of skeptical and rational thought that beat back the darkness, at least temporarily. On such example is Reginald Scot , who took the incredibly bold step to not only defend accused witches against the charges laid before them, but to also prove once and for all that witchcraft does not exist! His views were presented in his book The Discoverie of Witchcraft , a lengthy tome which chronicles the supposed powers of witches and provides devastating arguments against them:. It is an extremely difficult book to read, being written in archaic Early Modern English and using many words and phrases which are outdated and virtually unknown.

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In , Reginald Scot — a country gentleman and MP from Kent — published The discoverie of witchcraft , a sceptical treatise recording and debunking popular and scholarly beliefs about witchcraft, magic and other superstitions. Scot argued that belief in magic was both irrational and un-Christian. He suggested non-magical reasons and causes for both magical phenomena and accusations of witchcraft. These included psychological and sociological causes.

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