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Witchcraft & the law in early modern Europe & USA: Europe

Witches in French speaking regions

Continental Europe

The countries of continental Europe belong to a separate legal tradition to England & its former colonies. It is often called the "civil law tradition" (In contrast to the "common law" or "Anglo-American legal tradition" of the latter.)

The various history reading rooms in the Old Bod and the Radcliffe Camera & the Closed Stacks  have the majority of the open shelf material in this area of research.

The  Bodleian Law Library's collection may also be useful if you are interested in the specifically legal context and content of these cases. For instance,  what was the contemporary criminal law, its processes and procedure (evidence & proof, use of torture for extraction of confessions, views on control and punishment of this and other areas of sexual deviancy)?

When doing a subject search in SOLO, add the name of the modern nation state to the string.

As always, remember to click the Find & Request tab on results screen of SOLO searches to find out details of Reading Room and shelf mark (call number) - and please feel able to ask a member of staff for directions, especially if you are new to a particular part of the Bodleian.

The boxes framing this one give some examples of regional studies available in print in the Bodleian. (These boxes are arranged alphabetically according to broad language regions, starting top left, ending bottom right.)

Witches in German speaking regions


Witches in Italian speaking regions

Strega (Streghe) stregoneria

Polish phenomenon

Witches in Spanish speaking regions

Brujería e inquisición