literature on the devil. However, whereas this earlier work mainly presented moral satires, the later concentrated on demonology. The Theatre of the Witches contains Johannes Trithemius's (1462-1516) famous answers to Emperor Maximilian I on witchcraft, a piece of traditional demonology (Johannes Trithemii zu Spanheim Antwortt ), and Molitor's dialogue of 1489, but focuses on Protestant opinion leaders like Daneau, Lavater, and Bullinger, contrasting their traditional viewpoints with the position of Weyer and some of his followers, like Johann Ewich (1525-88) from Bremen (De Sagarum Natura et Potestate, 1584), or Herman Wilcken, called Witekind (1522-1603), a professor of mathematics at the University of Heidelberg, whose Christlich Bedencken von Zauberey (Heidelberg, 1585) had first been published as a booklet under the pseudonym Augustin Lercheimer', and succeeded with half a dozen reprints. All of these authors denied the existence of witchcraft and of witches in the inquisitorial sense, partly arguing from traditional theology, partly by introducing new arguments such as human reason and the laws of nature. However, Saur's collection leaves it to the reader to draw conclusions, supporting this endeavour by adding texts on demonology using every biblical quote he could find on the subject, as Adrian Rheynmann does in his dialogue On Evil Angels and Unclean Spirits,7 Ludwig Lavater (1527-86) does in his treatise On Ghosts (De Spectris; Zurich, 1570),8 and Leonhard Thurneysser (1531-96) in his work on exorcism.9 The two most radical opponents of inquisitorial as well as traditional demonology emerged at the very end of the sixteenth century and gave Weyer's approach a distinctive twist. The Calvinist minister Anton Praetorius (c. 15601614), who had courageously intervened in trials in the Calvinist county of Isenburg-Birstein in 1598 putting his position as court preacher at risk, and finally ending up in the Electoral Palatinate, surprised the public with a fundamental criticism of both belief in witches and witch trials even more radical than Weyer in that he proposed the abolition of torture in general (Grundlicher Bericht von Zauberey und Zauberern; Lich, 1598).
The English gentleman Reginald Scot (1538-99), seemingly a Puritan, now believed to have been a member of the Family of Love, a secret network of spiritualists, considered Bodin to be the most serious adversary, perhaps because the French scholar had launched the strongest attack against Weyer. But Scot acknowledged that the authority of the Malleus Maleficarum was always in the background. Protestant demonologists like Daneau, Erastus, and Hem-mingsen were perhaps less vigorous authors than Bodin, but equally dangerous
7 In Sawr, Theatrum de Veneficis, pp. 97-114. 8 Ibid., pp. 115-92.
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