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Chapter Summary

The fascicles of Eichstätt Hexenakten and related documents are one of the few sets of witchcraft sources which comprise, for the period from 1617, examples of the full range of working documents generated over many sessions of interrogation. The contents of the extant interrogation transcripts in particular allow one to challenge or modify several assumptions which have dominated modern witchcraft historiography: about how witch persecutions evolved and the role of local populations in sustaining them; about the prevailing social and cultural environments which provided the contexts for large-scale persecution; and about the gender and social status of the witch-suspects and popular attitudes towards them. They have also proved useful in reconstructing the social worlds of the men and women of the principality of Eichstätt. The Eichstätt prince-bishops played a significant, if minor role, in the history of early modern Germany.

Keywords: early modern Germany; Eichstätt; gender; social status; witchcraft



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