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Word Count: 1,130
Withcraft during the late medieval time period was characterized by religious intolerance and mass hysteria Undoubtedly there were more persecutions during the reign of Queen Mary and the Spanish Inquisitions But at this time the word witch was starting to emerge And just about anyone different or strange in the slightest way may be suspected of being in a league with the devil Both men and women were accused of witchcraft but the majority persecuted were women Furthermore estimates indicate that in the period of greatest persecution 1500-1700 the overwhelming majority of executed victims were female 82 The inquisitors or witch-hunters used the Malleus Maleficarum written in 1486 to aid them in the identification prosecution and dispatching of Witches It set forth as well many of the modern misconceptions and fears concerning witches and the influence of witchcraft After the accusation or suspection of a witch a procedure would be followed from the Malleus Maleficarum to detect and punish the witch Whom was always found guilty confession or otherwise The method of beginning an examination by torture is as follows First the jailers prepare the implements of torture then they strip the prisoner if it be a woman she has already been stripped by other women upright and of good report This stripping is lest some means of witchcraft may have been sewed into the clothing-such as often taught by the Devil they prepare from the bodies of unbaptized infants murdered that they may forfeit salvation And when the implements of torture have been prepared the judge both in person and through other good men zealous in the faith tries to persuade the prisoner to confess the truth freely but if he will not confess he bid attendants make the prisoner fast to the strappado or some other implement of torture The attendants obey forthwith yet with feigned agitation Then at the prayer of some of those present the prisoner is loosed again and is
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