Saducismus Triumphatus: Or Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions (1689)

Saducismus Triumphatus: Or Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions by Joseph Glanvill (“Joseph Glanvil” as it appears on the title page).

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This copy of Saducismus Triumphatus was printed in 1689 and bound in a leather cover with gilded edges. The book was printed on linen/cloth rag paper. It features several illustrations from engravings by William Faithorne. A woman identified as Williamsan Henley purchased the book in 1694. Henley copied her family crest with her own hand and printed her name in several places throughout the book. Later, Lawrence S. Kubie, a psychiatrist and hypnosis researcher purchased the book and held ownership until he died in 1973. His seal is inside the front cover and reads “ex libris Lawrence S. Kubie.”

Saducismus Triumphatus translates to “a defense of witchcraft beliefs and attacked skeptics.” The idea of witchcraft originated in Europe and traveled to the New World shortly after. Scientists who studied witchcraft trials say that hysteria was a way to blame anything that threatened the order of daily life or was considered chaotic. Witchcraft can be dated back to the two Old Testaments, Exodus and Leviticus. The first condemned witches were attacked in Exodus 22:18 and Leviticus 20:17 around 560 B.C. with the quotes, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live ” and “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”

From the mid-1400s to the mid-1600s, witchcraft trials erupted, sending death rates up. Nearly 100,000 people were executed throughout Europe, which eighty percent of those were women. The death rates were highest in Germany, followed by France, England, and Ireland. The witch-hunts ended in Europe, but moved to America, specifically the Massachusetts Bay Colony when Puritans came and began the Salem Witch Trials.

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