A History of Pursuit of Accused Witches
Saul and the Witch of Endor, 1526. Artist: Cornelisz van Oostsanen, Jacob (ca. 1470-1533). Heritage Images/Getty Images / Getty Images
TC – Updated August 11, 2017
The history of witchcraft in Europe begins with both folk beliefs and with religious and classical texts. The texts have roots in Hebrew, Greek and Roman history. The development of beliefs about what witchcraft meant — and especially the history of its gradual identification as a kind of heresy — takes effect over hundreds of years. I have also included a few American and global events for perspective on the history of witchcraft trials and executions.