Malleus maleficarum (1604)
Malleus maleficarum (1604)
by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger
Other Titles: “Formicarium de maleficiis . . .” by Johannes Nider as well as early editions of “Fustis daemonum adiurationes formidabiles . . .” and “Flagellum daemonum exorcismos terribiles . . .” both by Girolamo Menghi
4 ¾ x 7 x 3 ¼. In Latin. Lyons: Pierre Landry, 1604. Verified complete via WordCat. Perhaps the evilest book ever published: A three-volume compendium of witchcraft, devils, and exorcism, which includes all major works of the period. Bound in original, early 17th-century limp vellum with yapp edges. Small section of upper, rear edge corner missing. Boards with uniform dulling and soiling. Flat spine, with insignificant wear to head and tail. Title by hand. Some dust soiling to outer edges. Extremities worn, but certainly appealing. Provenance: Bookplate of Sir D'Arcy Power, a British surgeon and medical historian, found on front pastedown. Three title-pages in red and black with woodcut printer's device. Text block toned throughout, with some light damp staining on occasion. Otherwise, an altogether agreeable copy internally. Neither the sound, original binding nor the text with any serious condition problems. Very rare in commerce.
Includes “Malleus maleficarum” (translated, “The Hammer of Witches).” For nearly three centuries, this late-medieval treatise on witchcraft and court procedures for prosecuting witches was the professional manual for witch hunters.
Written by Dominican monks, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, two of the most famous Inquisitors of the age. They exposed the heresy of those who did not believe in witches and set forth the proper order of the world with devils, witches, and the will of God.
First printed in 1487, the innovation of the printing press significantly contributed to the early modern witch craze. It was published in at least 12 editions up to 1519, then revived from the late 16th century, undergoing at roughly 16 editions between 1574 and 1669.
“Malleus maleficarum” drew heavily on previous texts such as Johannes Nider’s “Formicarium.” Also included. Originally published in 1475, Nider helped shape perceptions of witchcraft and sorcery.
This compendium also contains Girolamo Menghi’s “Fustis daemonum adiurationes formidabiles . . .,” a book on exorcism, which grounded satanism with witchcraft, first published in 1577. Also included is his “Flagellum daemonum exorcismos terribiles . . .,” first published in 1582, a second exorcism manual. Menghi was a Franciscan Inquisitor and demonic theoretician. He arranged devils in a hierarchy according to their functions and habits and gives colorful descriptions of their peculiarities.
A two-volume, rebound 1604 copy sold at auction for $9,375 in 2015.
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Inventory Number: 94501
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