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Friends and enemies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes various relationships between the three principal groups of individuals found in the confession narratives and witness depositions: the witch-suspects; the alleged accomplices; and the witnesses called to appear before the witch commission. The 'emotion' and 'interest' invested by the inhabitants of Eichstätt in the familial and social relationships which bound them together is the primary focus of the chapter. The chapter argues that there is a story of communal and social life which complements the prevalent view of early modern community, gained from a limited range of sources, as rigidly hierarchical, socially fractured and, perhaps, in crisis. The story of this ordinary life privileges intimate relationships between individuals and groups within the early modern community as they sought to deal with daily contingencies by forming friendships and engaging with each other positively as neighbours.

Keywords: early modern community; Eichstätt; witch commission; witch-suspects



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