The Greatest Witch-Trial of All: Navarre, 1609-14
Gustav Henningsen on the Navarre Witch-trials of the 17th century.
The inquisitors at Logrono in northern Spain were kept busy during the summer of 1613. They had no time to spare for bull-fights or picnics, and hardly a moment to sample the fine local Rioja wines: they were up to their eyes in work from dawn to dusk, and allowed themselves no respite even on Sundays and holidays. They were engaged in the greatest witch-trial in history, both quantitatively – it comprised almost 7,000 cases – and qualitatively, for, as one of the inquisitors smugly claimed: 'This subject has never been investigated and explored so thoroughly before.' Nor was it ever to be so treated again.
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