Trial of Temple Anneke

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Predetermined Justice

Witchcraft in early modern Europe was understood to be the combination of maleficium and diabolism. The term maleficium refers to the actual act of witchcraft, which was believed to be harmful magic or sorcery. Allegations of maleficium were simply the foundation for the crime of witchcraft. Diabolism is what made witchcraft a crime because it involved trading oneself for magical abilities from the Devil (xxv). With regard to religion during early modern Europe, it was highly regarded. There was no direct separation between church and state. Witchcraft was acknowledged as an act against God, as well as a capital offense. The Carolina, which was the “imperial criminal code….of Emperor Charles V”, was based on “the testimony of reliable witnesses and interrogations of the accused (xxx).” During this time allegations of maleficium were primarily directed towards females (xxvii). Tempel Anneke, like many other women at this time, had similar characteristics of what was considered to be a “witch”. Tempel Anneke was commonly known in her city and neighboring cities as a healer. She would eventually receive multiple accusations of witchcraft as a result of her attempts to help others. Once these accusations were made an investigation began. The first time she was arrested was for “suspicion of witchcraft” but she was found innocent for this accusation. “Her ultimate arrest stemmed from the charge that she used sorcery to obtain the return of goods stolen from a roofer (xiii).” There were set guidelines during early modern Europe for a trial that involved the capitol offense but when it came to accusations of witchcraft many guidelines were over looked and the verdict quite often seems to be predetermined. Low magic, which Tempel Anneke is most often accused of, was considered to be simple and was often passed down threw families (xxv). The initial testimonies against Tempel Anneke consisted of allegations such as:...
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