reply to post by TheSparrowSings
What is particularly interesting about this book, and what it provides to the study of this period of history is that the author, Jean Taincture chose
to label witches as 'Waldensians'. The Waldensian heresy occurred in the 12th century and was related to a chap from Lyons called Waldo, who
convinced two priests to produce a translation of the scriptures into vernacular French and then took it upon himself to preach the scriptures in the
vernacular so that the 'common people' could understand it. This resulted in these people doing away with those practices which are not mentioned
in the scriptures, such as the sacrament etc. At the time, and still, this was heresy as it contravened orthodoxy. Though the Waldensian sect spread
from France into Germany and the Low Countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, it was pretty much 'cleansed' at the time that Taincture was
writing. Which is why it is so interesting.
Witchcraft was not a civil crime in 1465, heresy was. In order to get those accused of witchcraft burned at the stake, they had to be found guilty of
heresy, which is why Taincture uses the Waldensian label. Once a person had been found guilty by the Inquisition of being a 'relapsed heretic',
they could be turned over to the civil authorities for punishment. Heresy at that time was considered an 'anti-social behaviour', and in those
homogenising times, by all classes, intolerable. In fact, as often as not, the accused would be dragged from the jail by the moral majority and burnt
if the actual authorities didn't move quickly enough. Throughout the entire period from heresy trails to witchhunts, there was a reliance on
'finger pointing', much like the Nazis Gestapo who would have been powerless if it wasn't for the petty jealousies and gossip of the populace.