Johannes Nider ( – ) was a German theologian and member of the Dominican order. His work Formicarius, published around , is an important. Dec 13, Johannes Nider’s Formicarius was a demonological treatise written during the Council of Basel in Switzerland. Nider’s treatise detailed the. THE BEGINNINGS OF THE WITCH-PERSECUTIONS. 1. WITCH-PERSECUTION IN THE EARLIER FIFTEENTH CENTURY. Nider, Formicarius, ed. of Augsburg.

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A Documentary History, 2nd ed. But the other abode in her obstinacy and was burned. Soon after their return from Rome they set themselves at the compilation of a hand-book which should leave no judge an excuse for laxity–an exposition of witchcraft and a code of procedure for the detection and punishment niser witches.

Views Read Edit View history. The teacher is a theologian who is clearly meant to be Nider himself, while the student is presented as a curious but lazy individual who is there primarily to prompt the theologian to recount contemporary stories related to the book’s many themes.

First, the jailers prepare the implements of torture, then they strip the prisoner if it be a woman, she has already been stripped by other women, upright and of good report. The aforesaid youth, being again indicted at Bern, with his wife, and placed in a different prison from hers, declared: He distinguished himself as preacher and as inquisitor.

Formicarius – Wikipedia

A great multitude were then summoned, of masters both in Canon and in Civil Law, and she was examined for many days. And when the implements of torture have been prepared, the judge, both in person and through other good men zealous in the faith, tries to persuade the prisoner to confess the truth freely; but, if he will not confess, he bids attendants make the prisoner fast to the strappado or some other implement of torture.

This bull, known from its first words as Summis desiderantesruns as follows:. Relating then two or three anecdotes derived from these sources, the theologian closes his answer with this one:. This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat The Formicarius was written between andwhile Nider was part of the theological faculty at the University of Vienna. Peter’s, in the year of Our Lord’s incarnationon the nones of December, in the first year of our pontificate. And this, all other apostolic decrees and earlier decisions to the contrary notwithstanding; or if to any, jointly or severally, there has been granted by this apostolic see exemption from interdict, suspension, or excommunication, by apostolic letters not making entire, express, and literal mention of the said grant of exemption; or if there exist any other indulgence whatsoever, general or special, of whatsoever tenor, by failure to name which or to insert it bodily in the present letter the carrying out of this privilege could be hindered or in any way put off, or any of whose whole tenor special mention must be made in our letters.


His Formicatius and Preceptorium show him as a learned, pious, and naturally kind-hearted man; but he was also a zealous witch-finder. I cannot sufficiently marvel how the frail sex can to rush into such presumptuous things.

Printed in single volume 33 lines and head-line, in large gothic letter Type 2: First, on a Sunday, before the holy water is consecrated, the future disciple with his masters must go into the church, and there in their presence must renounce Christ and his faith, baptism, and the church universal. One of the earliest books which throws light upon the methods of the persecutions is the Formicariusor bider of the Dominican theological professor, Johannes Nider, written, in its final form, about Attractive cormicarius probably formicariud binding rubbed, some wear to extremities.

Nider describes in detail the practices of witchcraft, gatherings of witches and their dealings with demons, and stresses the association of magic with women which came to characterize much of the later witchcraft hysteria.

Medieval European History | Formicarius

This particular copy of the Formicarius is located on the website of Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Bavarian State Library.

From Sorcery to Witchcraft: University of Pennsylvania Press, If any presume to attempt this, let him know that he incurs the wrath of almighty God and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul.

Then, at the prayer of nirer of those present, the prisoner is loosed again and is taken aside and once more persuaded to confess, being led to believe that be will in that case not be put to death. For information about the antthrush genus, see Formicarius genus. Desiring with supreme ardor, as pastoral solicitude requires, that the catholic faith dormicarius our days everywhere grow and flourish as much formicrius possible, and that all heretical pravity be put far from the territories of the faithful, we freely declare and anew decree this by which our pious desire may be fulfilled, and, all errors being rooted out by our toil as with the hoe of a wise laborer, zeal and devotion to this faith may take ndier hold on the hearts of the faithful themselves.

Here it nideer be asked whether the judge, in the formicarus of nidef prisoner much defamed, convicted both by witnesses and by proofs, nothing being lacking but his own confession, can properly lead him to hope that his life will be spared–when, even if he confess his crime, he will be punished with death.

Some hold that even a witch of very ill repute, against whom the evidence justifies violent suspicion, and who, as a ringleader of the witches, is accounted very dangerous, may be assured her life, and condemned instead to perpetual imprisonment on bread and water, in case she will give sure and convincing testimony against other witches; yet this penalty of perpetual imprisonment must not be announced to her, but only that her life will be spared, and that she will be punished in some other fashion, perhaps by exile.



Last year, while he was exercising his inquisitorial office in the city of Cologne, as he himself told me, he found in the neighborhood a certain maiden who always went about in a man’s dress, bore arms and dissolute garments like one of nobles’ retainers; she danced in dances with men, and was so given to feasting and drink that she seemed altogether to pass the bounds of her sex, which she nide not conceal.

What the young man had said was found in all respects the truth.

The third book examines false visions and uses the variable sizes and nirer of ants. A third view is, that the judge may safely promise witches to spare their lives, if only he will later excuse himself from pronouncing the sentence and will let another do this in his place.

We therefore, desiring, as is our duty, to remove all impediments by which in any way the said inquisitors are hindered in the exercise of their office, and to prevent the taint of heretical ndier and of other like evils from spreading their infection to the ruin of others who are innocent, the zeal of religion especially impelling us, in order that the provinces, cities, dioceses, territories, and places aforesaid in the said parts of upper Germany may not be deprived of the office of inquisition which is their due, do hereby decree, by virtue of our apostolic authority, that it shall be permitted to the said inquisitors in these regions to exercise their office of inquisition and to proceed to nlder correction, imprisonment, and punishment of the aforesaid persons for their said offences and crimes, in all respects and altogether precisely as if the provinces, cities, territories, places, persons, and offences aforesaid were expressly named in the said letter.

Formicarius Dublin Core Title Formicarius.


The attendants obey forthwith, yet with feigned agitation. Joan, therefore, rode constantly like a knight with her lord, predicted many successes to come, was present at some victories in the field, and did other like wonders, whereat not only France marveled, but every realm in Christendom. Retrieved from ” https: Despite the efforts of the Dominicans, it was with much difficulty that the new terror of witchcraft and the persecution based on it were spread throughout Europe.

Bullarium Romanum Taurinensis editiosub anno The idea that any persons could perform acts of magic simply by devoting themselves to the devil scared people of this time and proved to be one of the many factors that led people to begin fearing magic [ citation needed ].

Nider presents reform and proper adherence to Dominican rites as the surest counter to witchcraft. The judge must then address to the prisoners the following sentence: