17 April 2000
INSTITORIS, Henricus (ca. 1430-1505) and Jacobus SPRENGER (ca. 1436-1495). Malleus maleficarum. [Speier: Peter Drach, ca. 1490-91].
Chancery 2o (268 x 187 mm). Collation: a8 b-d6 ef6 g-h6 i8 k-r6 (a1r title, a1v author's preface, a2r bull of Pope Innocent VIII (Summis desiderantibus affectibus), a2v approbation of Cologne theology faculty, a4r text, g1r part 2, r6v blank). 102 leaves. The signatures e and f are assigned together to a single quire. 56 lines, double column (a1v-3v in long lines). Types: 10:160G (title and headings), 13:80G (text). Three- to five-line initial spaces. Rubricated with red pearled Lombard initials and capital strokes. (Printing flaw to c4r from creased paper, a few tiny wormholes to last ca. 10 leaves.) 19th-century half vellum, marbled sides. Provenance: contemporary note in Latin and German on r6v.
Second edition of The Hammer of Witches, the most important early book on witchcraft and demonology. The text is prefaced by the papal bull which sanctioned the interrogation and punishment of those believed to be witches, and also by an approbation supposedly issued by the theological faculty at Cologne. Parts 1 and 2 of the work give a detailed description of the lore and practices of witches and demons, while the third and final part, aimed at civil and ecclesiastical authorities, specifies detailed procedures for conducting witchcraft investigations and trials. The text became the standard work on its subject and was reprinted frequently until well into the seventeenth century.
Both Institoris and Sprenger were Dominicans and inquisitors whose areas of responsbility lay in Germany and neighboring regions. Institoris was particularly energetic in the pursuit of witches, but the evidence for Sprenger's activity in this area is less clear. The extent to which each contributed to the composition of the Malleus maleficiarum has not been determined.
HC 9239*; BMC II, 498 (IB. 8615); BSB-Ink. I-226; Harvard/Walsh 861; Pr 2383; Goff I-164.
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