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If it hadn’t been used for centuries to come as a key instrument in the torture and burning of thousands, The Witches Hammer might have gone down in history as one of the more laughable studies in stupidity. A memorable passage from the book concerns “a venerable Father from the Dominican House of Spires, well known for the honesty of his life and for his learning.”

”One day,” the priest says, “while I was hearing confessions, a young man came to me and, in the course of his confession, woefully said that he had lost his member. Being astonished at this, and not being willing to give it an easy credence, since in the opinion of the wise it is a mark of light-heartedness to believe too easily, I obtained proof of it when I saw nothing on the young man’s removing his clothes and showing the place. Then, using the wisest counsel, I asked whether he suspected anyone of having so bewitched him. And the young man said that he did suspect someone but that she was absent and living in Worms. Then I said: ‘I advise you to go to her as soon as possible and try your utmost to soften her with gentle words and promises,’ and he did so. For he came back after a few days and thanked me, saying that he was whole and had recovered everything. And I believed his words, but again proved them by the evidence of my eyes.”


Source:

Farquhar, Michael. “Papal Vice.” A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors. Penguin Books, 2001. 248-49. Print.


Further Reading:

Malleus Maleficarum / Hammer of Witches

>If it hadn’t been used for centuries to come as a key instrument in the torture and burning of thousands, *The Witches Hammer* might have gone down in history as one of the more laughable studies in stupidity. A memorable passage from the book concerns “a venerable Father from the Dominican House of Spires, well known for the honesty of his life and for his learning.” >”One day,” the priest says, “while I was hearing confessions, a young man came to me and, in the course of his confession, woefully said that he had lost his member. Being astonished at this, and not being willing to give it an easy credence, since in the opinion of the wise it is a mark of light-heartedness to believe too easily, I obtained proof of it when I saw nothing on the young man’s removing his clothes and showing the place. Then, using the wisest counsel, I asked whether he suspected anyone of having so bewitched him. And the young man said that he did suspect someone but that she was absent and living in Worms. Then I said: ‘I advise you to go to her as soon as possible and try your utmost to soften her with gentle words and promises,’ and he did so. For he came back after a few days and thanked me, saying that he was whole and had recovered everything. And I believed his words, but again proved them by the evidence of my eyes.” ___________________________ **Source:** Farquhar, Michael. “Papal Vice.” *A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors*. Penguin Books, 2001. 248-49. Print. ___________________________ **Further Reading:** [Malleus Maleficarum / Hammer of Witches](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleus_Maleficarum)

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