Males, masculine honor and witch hunting in seventeenth-century Germany

R. Walinski-Kiehl

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Abstract

This article aims to contribute to the emerging cultural study of early modern witchcraft by examining one particular prosecution from the Bishopric of Bamberg, a territory in Germany that experienced very intensive witch persecutions between 1625 and 1630. The main focus of the present study is on Burgomaster Johannes Junius, a male accused in 1628 of being a demonic witch. Throughout the study, the following documents are examined for the insights they provide not only into witchcraft but also into the construction of seventeenth-century masculinity: Junius's witch trial records and a letter written to his daughter while he was imprisoned. The article suggests that the concept of honor played a significant part in establishing and maintaining Junius's masculine identity. The centrality that Junius attached to his honor was emphasized by the intense and dramatic manner in which he tried to defend it after he was arrested for the dishonorable crime of witchcraft.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-271
Number of pages18
JournalMen and Masculinities
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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