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  • Witches, Saints, and HereticsHeinrich Kramer’s Ties with Italian Women Mystics

In the late Middle Ages, mystical sainthood was often defined as antithetical to diabolic witchcraft. Whereas the saintly female mystic was revered as an emblem of piety, her mirror-image, the witch, was believed to be the embodiment of evil, who deliberately inverted orthodox religion by engaging in diabolic rites. Historians exploring the relationship between the category of “saint” and that of “witch” have pointed to the very fine line that usually separated the two in the premodern era.1 Several studies have also lately underscored [End Page 24] the connection between the gradual decline in the position of charismatic holy women, who had flourished in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the growing preoccupation with witchcraft in the following two centuries. As the recent publications of Nancy Caciola and Dyan Elliott illustrate, the claims of saintly women to spiritual authority aroused ambivalent reactions throughout the late Middle Ages. The confusion between the holy woman and the unholy one persisted, despite the systematic attempts to distinguish female saints from demonically possessed women by establishing firm criteria for discerning spirits, and by increasingly relying on inquisitional procedure. Indeed, those attempts ultimately led to the suppression of the positive value that had previously been ascribed to some forms of interiorized female spirituality, as well as to the formation of the witch stereotype, which paved the way for the witch persecutions of the early modern era. Thus, the pathologization of specifically female forms of medieval piety was closely linked to the impetus to constrain and persecute women during the European witch-hunts.2

As is well known, prominent fifteenth-century churchmen such as Jean Gerson (1363–1429) and Johannes Nider (1380–1438), whose writings disclose a profound concern over witches and witchcraft, were also generally suspicious of female spirituality.3 Alarmed by the unusual number of highly visible and influential female saints in their time, these theologians feared that women’s piety had gotten out of control. They therefore attempted to constrain some of the central features of late-medieval female sanctity: ecstatic raptures, stigmata, ascetic fasting, and eucharistic devotion.4 Some of them also blamed charismatic holy women like Catherine of Siena (1347–80) and Brigit of Sweden (1303–73), who had exerted great influence during the [End Page 25] troubled years of the Avignon papacy, for the Great Schism that followed the pope’s return to Rome.5

Gábor Klaniczay and other historians have recently proposed that the anxiety about the remarkable ascendancy of late-medieval female mystics, which had already been expressed by the theologians of the early fifteenth century, reached its apex in Heinrich Kramer’s condemnation of women’s supernatural abilities in the Malleus Maleficarum.6 Heinrich Kramer, also known as Institoris (the Latinized form of his German surname), completed his notorious witchcraft treatise in 1486.7 Arguably, with the publication of this work in 1487, the “interim position,” which had previously connected the two poles [End Page 26] of female saintliness and witchcraft, was completely erased. Thus, it is now generally assumed that, while earlier writers on witchcraft acknowledged the possibility of divinely inspired female mysticism, Kramer’s publication of the Malleus Maleficarum marked “the terminus of a previously auspicious and vindicatory current in the assessment of female spirituality.”8

By early modern standards, Heinrich Kramer’s Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of [Female] Witches) was undoubtedly a best seller. Before the end of the seventeenth century, more than thirty editions of Kramer’s antiwitchcraft treatise were published, and about thirty thousand exemplars of the Malleus circulated throughout Europe.9 The Malleus is probably still the best-known premodern treatise on witchcraft today.10 It has often been regarded as embodying the perversity and cruelty that kindled the great witch hunts, and has even been defined as one of “the most vicious . . . and damaging book[s] in all of world literature.”11

The Malleus owes much of its notoriety to its infamous diatribe on the female sex.12 Kramer attempts to establish a direct connection between diabolic [End Page 27] witchcraft and women throughout his treatise, and dedicates an entire chapter (Liber 1, Quaestio 6) exclusively to explaining why women are more prone to become witches than are men. In this chapter, he contends that women’s nature is weaker than men’s not only physically, but also psychologically, intellectually, and morally. Kramer argues that women’s lascivious nature and moral and intellectual inferiority are the reasons for their greater proclivity to witchcraft. He calls for the extermination of the sect of (female) witches, and claims that the devil takes advantage of women’s insatiable lust and inherent propensity to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit in order to harm Christian society.13

Over the last thirty-five years, scholars have been debating the significance of Kramer’s virulent tirade against the female sex, and its impact on the gender-related nature of the great European witch hunts. The view expressed by radical feminist historians, who characterized the Malleus as the work that “launched the witch persecutions as an attack on women” by the patriarchal establishment,14 has been much criticized since the mid-1970s.15 Notwithstanding [End Page 28] the important studies of Stuart Clark and Walter Stephens, who question the originality and significance of the Malleus’s misogyny,16 several scholars have recently reaffirmed the book’s role in facilitating the concurrent diabolization and feminization of witchcraft in the late fifteenth century. As Gerhild Scholz Williams, Sigrid Brauner, Hans Peter Broedel, Michael Bailey and Günter Jerouschek have noted, the publication of the Malleus marked a significant turning point in the history of European witch persecution. Although earlier writers on witchcraft, such as Johannes Nider, assumed that witches were predominantly women, Kramer was clearly more insistent in claiming that diabolic witchcraft was found mainly among members of the female sex. Furthermore, his characterization of the diabolic female witch, which influenced the notions expressed in the writings of later demonologists and witch hunters, created a uniformity of discourse in the witchcraft debate of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.17

Because of the presumed impact of Kramer’s discussion of female witches in the Malleus, historians have also tried to explain the reasons for his elaboration of such a virulent attack on women. Several scholars proposed that the Malleus simply embodied a chaste friar’s fear of female sexuality, but this explanation has now largely been dismissed.18 As already noted, a more recent [End Page 29] explanation places Kramer’s misogynistic configuration of witchcraft in the context of late-medieval clerical discontent with the supernatural abilities and social prestige of saintly female mystics. Hence, it is now assumed that Kramer’s assault on the female sex in the Malleus reflected the escalating anxiety over the somatic spirituality and political influence of charismatic holy women such as Catherine of Siena, whom fifteenth-century theologians held responsible for the ensuing troubles of the Church.19

Interestingly, whereas the recent studies that analyze the attitude of earlier fifteenth-century authors toward women take into consideration the entire corpus of their writings, discussions of Kramer’s view of the female sex still focus exclusively on the Malleus. Indeed, most of the works that deal with early modern demonology—and virtually all the studies published in the English language—disregard Kramer’s whereabouts during the last eighteen years of his life, from the publication of the Malleus in 1487 until his death in 1505.20 Thus, while we know all the details about Kramer’s inquisitorial activity prior to the publication of the Malleus, most biographical surveys of his life simply end by noting: “[Kramer] retained his position as inquisitor for most of his long life, and he was still pursuing witches and heretics in Bohemia when he died, probably in 1505.”21

In the first part of this essay, I analyze several hitherto-overlooked sources pertaining to the last decade of Kramer’s life, which disclose his active [End Page 30] involvement in promoting the cults of the four best-known Italian holy women of his time: Lucia Brocadelli, Colomba Guadagnoli, Stefana Quinzani, and Osanna Andreasi. These renowned Dominican tertiaries have received much scholarly attention since the publication of Gabriella Zarri’s seminal study Le sante vive: Profezie di corte e devozione femminile tra ’400 e ’500 in 1990.22 However, Kramer’s ties with them, and his important role in spreading their fame for sanctity throughout Europe, have not been noted before. In light of my new findings, I then challenge the accepted historiographical notion of Kramer’s alleged fear of charismatic women. I propose that his admiration for contemporary female mystics actually went hand-in-hand with his preoccupation with diabolic witches. I also suggest that Kramer’s attempts to mobilize the central features that had traditionally characterized medieval female sanctity in his campaign against heresy reflect the peculiar religious conditions on the eve of the Reformation. My alternative reading of Kramer’s attitude toward women, witchcraft, and female sanctity calls for a reappraisal of the writings and career of the inquisitor, who is often portrayed as the greatest misogynist of the premodern era.

The first evidence of Kramer’s ties with Italian holy women is a notarial document (Instrumentum publicum) certifying one of the inquisitorial examinations of Lucia Brocadelli, also known as Lucia of Narni (1476–1544), the most famous Italian santa viva (living saint) of the early sixteenth century.23 Two copies of this notarial document, now in the main Dominican archive (Archivio Generalizio dell’Ordine dei Predicatori) in Rome, which were signed by the Ferrarese notary Bartholomeo Silvestri, indicate that the examination [End Page 31] of Brocadelli’s stigmata wounds was conducted at Heinrich Kramer’s request. Kramer himself witnessed the inquisitorial examination, which was held in Ferrara on March 2, 1500.24

According to the notarial document, several witnesses, including Brocadelli’s most ardent patron, Ercole I d’Este, the duke of Ferrara; his court physician; and some of his family members, were present at the inquisitorial examination. The witnesses were

[A]sked by the venerable Reverend and religious Father, the Doctor of Sacred Theology, Magister Brother Heinrich Institoris of the Order of Preachers and Inquisitor of heretical depravity of the province of Germania superior . . .25 whether it [wa]s true that the Venerable Sister Lucia bore the stigmata on her members. . . . They all declared unanimously that they had seen Sister Lucia of Narni . . . having, and bearing the scars, or wounds, called stigmata, on both her hands and on her two feet.26

Unlike the other three inquisitorial processes that were held for the purpose of establishing the authenticity of Brocadelli’s stigmatization, the examination of March 2, 1500, was not mentioned by her early modern hagiographers. Nor was the certificate of this examination printed in any of Brocadelli’s modern biographies, or in studies that survey Kramer’s inquisitorial career.27 Nonetheless, quite a few sources indicate that Kramer, who had [End Page 32] already visited Rome and northern Italy on several occasions during the 1480s and 1490s, made another trip to the Italian peninsula at the beginning of 1500. In January 1500, the Alsatian friar spent some time at the papal court in Rome. It is more than plausible that he first heard about the miraculous gifts of Lucia Brocadelli from her paternal uncle Domenico, who was attached to the papal curia, and served as Vicario to Pope Alexander VI at that time.28

While Kramer was in Rome, Alexander VI appointed him papal nuncio and inquisitor of Bohemia and Moravia. A papal bull of February 4, 1500, specifically charged him with the task of prosecuting and converting the members of the heretical sects that flourished in the Kingdom of Bohemia in those years. Having probably visited Ferrara on his way north from Rome, he arrived in Olmütz (Olomouc), the episcopal see and administrative center of Moravia, later in 1500.29

In Olmütz, Kramer aimed his inquisitorial zeal mainly at the Unitas fratrum, also known as the Bohemian Brethren. The Brethren, whose members had broken off from the Utraquist Hussites in the mid-fifteenth century, shared many doctrinal tenets with the Waldensians. They were apparently influenced by Waldensian doctrine, had ties with northern Italian and French Waldensians, and even suffered temporary exile after giving refuge to Waldensians who had fled persecution in Brandenburg. Although the Unitas fratrum and the Waldensians remained separate groups, many of the Catholic opponents of the Bohemian Brethren—including Kramer—regarded them as a Waldensian subsect.30 [End Page 33]

Kramer first attempted to convert the Bohemian Brethren by means of persuasion. He therefore invited two of their leaders, Thomas of Prelouc and Lawrence Krasonicky, to a public disputation in the Dominican church of S. Michael in Olmütz. In this public disputation, which was held in the beginning of 1501, Kramer strove to confute the Brethren’s main heretical tenets, and especially their negation of the doctrine of transubstantiation, which he found particularly disturbing.31 The Dominican inquisitor also strove to demonstrate that Roman Catholicism was indeed the true faith. For this purpose, he portrayed the Church of Rome as the only divinely elected church, arguing that God manifested his powers by the “miraculous deeds” of several contemporary Catholic women who were reputed for sanctity.32 Not incidentally, the saintly women whom he praised in the disputation were all tertiaries affiliated with his own order. By lauding their divine gifts, Kramer clearly also hoped to enhance the Dominicans’ prestige at a time marked by an intense rivalry for saints among the mendicant orders.33 In addition to describing the miraculous stigmata of Lucia Brocadelli, he mentioned the [End Page 34] astonishing ecstasies of Brocadelli’s admirer, Stefana Quinzani (1457–1530), in which she periodically relived Christ’s Passion.34 Finally, Kramer praised Brocadelli’s friend Colomba Guadagnoli (1467–1501), who was said to have subsisted on the Eucharist alone without receiving any earthly nourishment for more than six years, thus attesting to the real presence of Christ in the Host.35

Kramer’s lengthy discussion of the paramystical experiences of the Italian holy women evidently aroused the curiosity of the leaders of the Unitas fratrum. Thus, in a letter that Thomas of Prelouc sent Albrecht of Sternberg on April 10, 1501, he sneered at Kramer’s attempts to convert the Brethren with his stories about the miraculous gifts of the Italian mystics. Brother Thomas suggested that the holy women prove that they indeed have miraculous powers by going on a crusade against the Turks.36 Accounts of the “fables and nonsense stories” (“fabulae atque nugae”) that Kramer told the Bohemian Brethren about the miraculous stigmatization and abstinence from food of the Dominican tertiaries—with a specific mention of “Sister Lucia,” “Sister Stefana,” and “Sister Colomba”—also appear in later apologetic writings of the Brethren.37 [End Page 35]

Once he realized that his disputation with Thomas of Prelouc and Lawrence Krasonicky had not convinced the Brethren to abandon their heretical views, Kramer began to preach particularly venomous sermons against the Unitas fratrum. Among other slanders, he described their lascivious nocturnal meetings—strikingly reminiscent of the witches’ horrendous gatherings—and their rite of swallowing the devil in the shape of a fly in order to learn diabolic wisdom. His zealous preaching activity did not bring about the desired mass conversion of the Unitas fratrum,38 and the heretics’ obstinacy finally convinced Kramer of the need to publish a voluminous polemical tract against them. This tract, the Sancte Romane ecclesie fidei defensionis clippeum adversus waldensium seu pikardorum heresim (A Shield to Defend the Holy Roman Church against the Heresy of the Pikarts or Waldensians), was first published in Olmütz on April 20, 1501.39

The Clippeum was aimed at warding off the heretical tenets of the “Pikarts or Waldensians,” as the Catholic adversaries of the Bohemian Brethren used to call them.40 It was written as a manual for preachers active in regions infected by heresy, instructing them how to confute the heterodox beliefs of the Unitas fratrum. Because of the expressed aim of his book, Kramer did not merely provide his readers with theoretical theological arguments, but also discussed contemporary evidence, which was supposed to assist preachers in [End Page 36] successfully confuting heretical claims. Understandably, Kramer did not mention his own earlier failure to accomplish this goal in his tract.

Throughout the Clippeum, Kramer alludes to the existence of “numerous” holy women, and praises especially those saintly virgins who were living in northern Italy at that time. As in the disputation in S. Michael, the Dominican inquisitor does not miss the opportunity to enhance the prestige of his own order by singling out the exceptional piety of several Dominican tertiaries.41 He dedicates more than twelve pages to a lengthy and detailed discussion of the paramystical phenomena experienced by Brocadelli, Quinzani and Guadagnoli, noting the supernatural abilities of the Mantuan mystic Osanna Andreasi (1449–1505)—an admirer of Guadagnoli and Brocadelli and a close friend of Quinzani—in passing.42

Like Catherine of Siena, Brocadelli, Guadagnoli, Quinzani, and Andreasi were all renowned for their somatic experiences: ecstatic raptures, stigmatization, ascetic fasts, and eucharistic devotion. Moreover, the Dominican friars who backed these four mystics were concurrently involved in the attempts to prove the authenticity of Saint Catherine’s invisible stigmata, which was seriously contested by Franciscan theologians intent on reserving this privilege solely for Saint Francis. In the first years of the sixteenth century, the paramystical experiences of the Italian tertiaries—and especially Brocadelli’s bleeding stigmata—were pawns in the Dominicans’ attempts to receive official approbation of Saint Catherine’s stigmatization.43 [End Page 37]

The saintliness of Brocadelli, Guadagnoli, Quinzani, and Andreasi, then, was primarily manifested through their physical suffering; but the four women were also famous for their prophecies and visions. Regarded by many of their admiring contemporaries as the spiritual successors of Catherine of Siena, they exerted a significant influence on the social, religious and political life in their towns.44 Hence, we can see that the women that Kramer lauded in his Clippeum embodied all the characteristis of late medieval female sanctity, which early-fifteenth-century theologians concerned with witchcraft and diabolic temptations had mistrusted. Although Kramer, too, was preoccupied with the diabolic sect of witches, he did not hesitate to praise the ecstatic, and physical, spirituality of the Dominican holy women. The ruthless witch-hunter expressed his profound admiration for the saintly Italian tertiaries, and even went so far as declaring that their miraculous experiences alone “suffice[d] as a proof for the truth of the faith of the Holy Roman Church.”45

The importance that Kramer ascribed in his Clippeum to the “proofs for the truth of the faith” provided by the Dominican holy women probably reflected his understanding of some of the reasons for the remarkable growth of heretical groups in the late fifteenth century. As Kramer apparently knew, the charismatic and ascetic leaders of such groups in Bohemia and Moravia often enjoyed a popular reputation as holy men because of the great austerity and purity of their lives. Some of the Bohemian heretics engaged in prophetic activities, while others were popular healers, and their healing powers were regarded as an indication of their holiness. Although they opposed the veneration of saints, some of them were perceived as “living saints,” and were even addressed as “sancti viri.” Their saintly reputations doubtlessly contributed to [End Page 38] the relative success of the heretical sects that flourished in the Kingdom of Bohemia—despite the heavy persecution that they suffered—during the years 1470–1500.46

Hoping to curtail the allurement of local heretical groups, Kramer attempted to show that the ultimate manifestations of divine powers could only be found among contemporary Catholics, notably those affiliated with his own religious order. While individual heretics may have enjoyed the reputation of sancti viri, none of them could boast of “miraculous gifts” comparable to those of the Italian sante vive—to Brocadelli’s bleeding stigmata wounds, to Quinzani’s ecstasy of the Passion, or to Guadagnoli’s eucharistic inedia. Kramer’s lengthy discussion of the supernatural phenomena experienced by these pious Dominican tertiaries was aimed not only at confirming the contested incarnational doctrines of Catholicism, but also at proving the divine election of the Roman Church.47 Hence, Kramer cited from a letter written by Duke Ercole I d’Este in praise of the Italian holy women, assuring the readers of his Clippeum that the miraculous gifts that Brocadelli, Quinzani, Guadagnoli and Andreasi enjoyed

[A]re shown by the Supreme Craftsman in the bodies of His servants to confirm and strengthen our faith, and to remove the incredulity of impious men and those hard of heart . . . [and they] bear witness to us that our Catholic faith is the true faith, and that the Holy Roman Church is the mother of the faith, and should be followed in all matters pertaining to salvation and good morals.48

In the beginning of his discussion of the Italian holy women, Kramer asserts that he saw the miraculous stigmata wounds of Lucia Brocadleli “with [End Page 39] his own eyes” (“oculis conspexi”). Later in the Clippeum, he affirms that he not only saw Brocadelli’s stigmata wounds, but also kissed them (“stigmata vidi et osculatus sum”), during his visit to Ferrara “in the holy year” of 1500.49 This assertion corroborates the evidence in the notarial certificate of Brocadelli’s examination on March 2, 1500, and attests to Kramer’s admiring fascination with Brocadelli and her mystical gifts.

Throughout his discussion of Brocadelli’s supernatural experiences, Kramer refers to her as a “most saintly virgin.”50 This is particularly intriguing since, at the turn of the sixteenth century, the issue of Brocadelli’s virginity was actually seriously contested. Whereas Guadagnoli, Quinzani, and Andreasi never married, and were commonly believed to have preserved their virginity, Brocadelli (as her opponents often pointed out) had been married for three years before she became a Dominican tertiary in 1494. Ercole d’Este and Brocadelli’s other supporters, who were aware of the importance of sexual purity as a prerequisite for approved female sanctity, nevertheless emphasized the virginal state of the Dominican stigmatic. Brocadelli herself wished to be addressed as a virgin, and argued that she had succeeded in keeping her relationship with her husband chaste, thanks to a crucifix that she had placed between the two of them in bed, and to her constant prayers.51 Kramer, who [End Page 40] may have known about the doubts surrounding Brocadelli’s virginity, assures his readers that, by the time he saw her in 1500, she had “lived as a virgin for twenty-seven years, wearing a hair shirt on her naked flesh, with an iron chain girded around her loins.”52 Brocadelli was actually only twenty-four years old in 1500, but inaccuracies of this kind were quite common in the Clippeum.53

Kramer remarks that, while visiting Ferrara in 1500, he also received a letter from Ercole d’Este, in which the duke affirmed the authenticity of Brocadelli’s stigmatization and praised the mystical gifts of Guadagnoli, Quinzani, and Andreasi.54 Duke Ercole, who wrote his lengthy letter on March 4, 1500—two days after Brocadelli’s abovementioned examination—doubtlessly did so at Kramer’s request. The assiduous inquisitor had Ercole’s letter reproduced in the Clippeum, where it appears immediately following Kramer’s own eulogy of the Italian mystics.55 In addition to Ercole’s letter, Kramer incorporated into the Clippeum copies of notarial documents certifying the examination of one of Quinzani’s ecstasies of the Passion in February 1497, and the examination of Brocadelli’s stigmata in April 1497.56 He apparently got the copies of these two documents from one of the Italian supporters of the Dominican mystics when he visited Ferrara in March 1500.

It is instructive that Kramer did not perceive his praise of holy women in the Clippeum to be incompatible with his earlier assault on witches in the Malleus. In fact, the zealous inquisitor continued to be an ardent advocate of [End Page 41] a thorough extermination of the diabolic sect of female witches (maleficae) during his sojourn in Olmütz, and repeated his call for a harsh repression of witchcraft in the Clippeum.57 The heretics that Kramer was persecuting in Moravia were pacifists who opposed any form of capital punishment, including the execution of convicted witches, thus acquiring the reputation of being the “protectors” of witches.58 Kramer blamed them for criticizing contemporary witch hunts, and listed their skepticism concerning the reality of diabolic witchcraft among their gravest doctrinal errors. He compared the horrendous sins of the Bohemian “Waldensians” to those of female witches, and referred the readers of the Clippeum to his more detailed discussion of the witches’ crimes in the Malleus.59 Kramer’s ongoing engagement in the persecution of witches clearly did not prevent him from concurrently hailing contemporary women mystics as living proofs for the divine election of the Catholic Church.

The writings of leading members of the Unitas fratrum attest to the wide circulation of the Clippeum in the years following its first publication.60 A second edition of Kramer’s polemical work was published on March 20, 1502, and select sections from the Clippeum—in which the “miraculous lives” of the Italian holy women were mentioned—were also published separately, and circulated in Bohemia and Moravia in the early sixteenth century.61 [End Page 42]

Kramer’s praise of Italian holy women in the Clippeum evidently helped propagating their fame for sanctity among devout Catholics beyond the Alps. The German abbot Johannes Trithemius, who lauded Brocadelli’s miraculous stigmatization in a book that he completed in 1503, clearly reiterated Kramer’s description of her supernatural experiences in the Clippeum. He too emphasized Brocadelli’s virginity.62 Kramer’s eulogy of Brocadelli’s miraculous gifts in the Clippeum, and his personal involvement in confirming the authenticity of her stigmatization, were later also mentioned in Odorico Raynaldo’s Annales Ecclesiastici.63 More importantly, in the early eighteenth century, when Brocadelli’s Italian devotees were trying to promote her canonization cause, they relied on Kramer’s discussion of her miraculous gifts. Listing the Alsatian inquisitor among the “contemporary witnesses” who had examined Brocadelli’s stigmata and attested to her virginal state, they cited the Clippeum to support their claims that she should be venerated as a virgin and a stigmatic.64 [End Page 43]

In the first years of the sixteenth century, however, the Bohemian Brethren themselves apparently continued to take little heed of Kramer’s praise of Lucia Brocadelli and the other Italian holy women. Some of them even publicly defamed Brocadelli as a fraud. When Kramer heard that “some men, because of their innate malice and perversity . . . preach in certain regions of Silesia and Moravia . . . [defaming] the most honest virgin [Lucia] as the lewdest little woman,”65 he edited and published another polemical tract. This work, titled Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia aliarumque spiritualium perso-narum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna (On the Stigmata of the Virgin Lucia of Narni and of the Deeds of Other Spiritual Persons of the Female Sex that are Worthy of Admiration), was published in Olmütz on September 16, 1501.66 It was printed by the German Catholic publisher Konrad Baumgarten, who devoted much of his time to publishing antiheretical polemical works, including all the known editions of Kramer’s Clippeum.67 The woodcut on the Stigmifere’s [End Page 44] title page, which shows three religious women kneeling before a Crucifix, was produced in the workshop of Albrecht Dürer, whose godfather and early patron, the Nuremberg printer Anton Koberger, had published three editions of Kramer’s earlier works during the 1490s.68

The Stigmifere opens with a preface that explains the need for publishing a pamphlet in praise of Brocadelli and the other Italian holy women, “for the glory of the greatest [and] best God and for the delight and the consolation of the faithful Christians, and especially in order to help the truth.”69 As noted in the preface, once Duke Ercole d’Este became aware of Brocadelli’s wicked detractors in Moravia, he decided to send to Olmütz additional documents affirming the authenticity of her miraculous gifts. These documents were all printed in the Stigmifere.70 The most important one was a letter that [End Page 45] Ercole himself wrote on January 23, 1501, in confirmation of his earlier letter (of March 4, 1500) in praise of Brocadelli, which had already been printed in Kramer’s Clippeum. In the letter of January 23, 1501, Ercole expressed his wrath at those who had dared doubt the divine origin of Brocadelli’s mystical powers. He assured the readers that he was convinced of the authenticity of Brocadelli’s miraculous stigmata, because he himself often “saw and touched” her wounds, and so did “physicians and many other prudent men, not once but many times.”71 Finally, the duke asked the prospective readers of his letter to proceed vigorously against those who mendaciously slandered his saintly court prophetess.72

In corroboration of his own testimony concerning Brocadelli’s miraculous gifts, the duke of Ferrara attached letters of patent signed by Niccolo ` Maria d’Este (Ercole’s nephew and the bishop of Adria) and Pietro Tranensis, the bishop of Ferrara. These letters, along with his own letter of January 23, 1501, had already been sent to the city council of Nuremberg a few months earlier, presumably at Kramer’s request.73 Ercole now addressed the same [End Page 46] letters, authenticated with his ducal seal, to Stanislav Thorzo, the bishop of Olmütz who supported Kramer’s persecution of the Bohemian Brethren;74 to the bishop of Breslau;75 and to the secular rulers “and Christian people” in Silesia and Moravia. To the three letters that had already been sent to the Nuremberg city council was added another one, written by Ercole’s son, Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este, archbishop of Milan, on July 24, 1501. Copies of all these letters were kept in the Este ducal archive, as well as in the convent that Ercole d’Este had founded for Lucia Brocadelli in Ferrara. In the early eighteenth century, Brocadelli’s devotees consulted these copies and, during her canonization process, cited them as important testimonies for her saintliness.76 Today, the copies of these letters can still be found in the Archivio Storico Diocesano in Ferrara and in the Archivio di Stato di Modena.77 [End Page 47]

Following the four letters in confirmation of Brocadelli’s miraculous gifts in the Stigmifere is a short eulogy of the supernatural phenomena experienced by Stefana Quinzani, Osanna Andreasi, and Colomba Guadagnoli. This eulogy is a repetition of Ercole’s first letter of March 4, 1500, in praise of the four saintly tertiaries, although its source is not acknowledged in the pamphlet. Like the discussion of the four Dominican mystics in the Clippeum, this section of the Stigmifere ends with the assertion that the Italian women’s miraculous experiences prove that “the Catholic faith is the true faith, and that the Holy Roman Church is the mother of the faith.”78 The Stigmifere ends with a four-page-long carmen in praise of Brocadelli (Carmen theocasticon de Lucia Narnien[sis] tercii habitus Cherubici Dominici virgine stygmifera [sic]), and with an epitaph in honor of Colomba Guadagnoli, who had passed away in Perugia just a few months earlier, on May 20, 1501.79 Both the Carmen theocasticon and the epitaph were apparently written in the Italian peninsula, but their authors’ names are not mentioned in the Stigmifere.

As early as September 20, 1501—merely four days after the publication of the Latin Stigmifere—Kramer had a German translation of the pamphlet published by Konrad Baumgarten.80 The two editions published in Olmütz in September 1501 are the only full versions of the Stigmifere known to date, but a partial Spanish translation was published in Seville in 1502.81 Another [End Page 48] Latin pamphlet, based solely on the letters that had been sent to Nuremberg in early 1501, was published anonymously, probably in Nuremberg,82 with the abridged title Spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna.83 The woodcut that adorns the title page of this edition is an elaborate version of the one that appears on the title page of Kramer’s Latin edition of the Stigmifere.84 A German translation of the Spiritualium was published in 1502, probably in Strasburg, with a different woodcut on its title page.85 Altogether, five printed versions of the Stigmifere, in three different languages, circulated in Europe in the first years of the sixteenth century. Their publication doubtlessly contributed to spreading across the continent the fama sanctitatis of four [End Page 49] female mystics, whose names were probably never heard beyond the confines of the Italian peninsula before 1501.

Figure 1. The woodcut on the title page of [Heinrich Kramer], Wunderbarlithe geschichten, die do geschehen synt von geystlichen wybs personen in disen Joren (Strasburg, 1502), which is attributed to Bartholomaüs Kistler.
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Figure 1.

The woodcut on the title page of [Heinrich Kramer], Wunderbarlithe geschichten, die do geschehen synt von geystlichen wybs personen in disen Joren (Strasburg, 1502), which is attributed to Bartholomaüs Kistler.

Kramer’s role in editing and publishing the Stigmifere complimented his earlier efforts to turn Brocadelli, Guadagnoli, Quinzani, and Andreasi into internationally acclaimed holy women. Furthermore, although the eulogy of contemporary female mystics in the Stigmifere and the Clippeum and Kramer’s earlier tirade against women in the Malleus may seem incompatible at first glance, I think that they can actually be explained as two sides of the same coin. As already mentioned, in his discussion of women’s propensity to witchcraft, Kramer argues that women’s minds are “naturally more impressionable” than the minds of men, and are therefore “more ready to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit.” This contention is based on the assumption that, because of their moist and cool bodily humors, women receive impressions more easily, retain them better, and are less capable of critically evaluating them than are men.86 In the Malleus, Kramer acknowledges [End Page 50] the fact that not all the impressions that women uncritically receive have a diabolical origin. In fact, he contends that “when they [women] use this quality [of their greater impressionability] well they are very good, but when they use it ill they are very evil.”87 Historians of witchcraft have so far underscored the first part of this contention, dismissing Kramer’s assertion that when women “use this quality well they are very good” as a merely rhetorical affirmation.88 However, Kramer’s praise of women’s supernatural experiences in his later works indicates that his acknowledgment, in the Malleus, of women’s ability to become “very good” was anything but rhetorical. In fact, the assumption that women are more impressionable than men, and that this can make them “very good,” underlies the eulogy of female spirituality both in the Clippeum and in the Stigmifere. According to Kramer, it is only because Guadagnoli, Quinzani, and Brocadelli are women who use their greater susceptibility “to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit” well that they can represent the divine. As the Dominican inquisitor notes in the Clippeum, thinking of Christ’s Passion during prayer had such an impact on Brocadelli’s mind that she received the signs of the stigmata on her own members. In a similar manner Quinzani, who every Friday used to contemplate a crucifix, entered a state of ecstasy, in which she physically relived Christ’s Passion.89 Kramer apparently assumes that only members of the female sex, deprived as they are of the capability to critically evaluate the images that influence their minds, can reach such a perfect degree of Imitatio Christi.

Taking into consideration not just the Malleus, but the entire corpus of Kramer’s writings, we can see that for the Dominican inquisitor, the very qualities that render women more susceptible to the devil’s machinations also turn them into the privileged conduits for divine revelations that confirm the tenets of Christianity. Kramer assumes that holy women can represent the divine, but that their ability to do so reflects their being essentially different from men, and especially their inherent psychological and intellectual depravity. This, of course, does not mean that he indiscriminately supported all [End Page 51] manifestations of female religious expression. In fact, we know that he was only willing to back saintly religious women who were subject to the appropriate spiritual direction of trustworthy Dominican friars.90 Such an attitude toward female spirituality was, of course, hardly original. Indeed, Kramer’s views concerning women, and especially female sanctity, seem to have been rather traditional. They were strikingly similar to the notions expressed by earlier Dominican and other clerical supporters of holy women in the late Middle Ages.91

The most notorious aspect of Kramer’s discussion of diabolic witchcraft in the Malleus, namely his preoccupation with female sexuality, is also compatible with his insistence on the virginal state of the holy women that he praises in his later works. For the Dominican friar, the insatiable lust of diabolic witches was the mirror image of the impeccable chastity of saintly female mystics, and the resistance of sexual temptations was one of the central aspects of women’s saintliness. In this respect, too, Kramer’s dichotomous view of women was no more misogynistic than that of earlier Dominican theologians, who had typically emphasized female chastity as an important determinant of women’s moral value.92 Interestingly, whereas later Catholic witch-hunters exalted the Virgin Mary as a vision of female perfection to which earthly women could never approximate, Kramer still acknowledged the possibility of genuine female chastity.93 It is certainly noteworthy that the female virgins that he lauded were not long-deceased canonized saints, but rather aspiring living saints whose holiness had still not been officially approved by the ecclesiastical establishment.

It is interesting in this context to examine the woodcut on the title page of the 1502 German translation of the Spiritualium, which is attributed to the [End Page 52] artist Bartholomaüs Kistler. The woodcut depicts three religious women being harassed by four ferocious demons—or, plausibly, the same religious woman being molested by demons on three different occasions (see figure 1). One demon attempts to scourge a woman who, rapt in ecstasy, is reliving Christ’s crucifixion. Another demon seems to be making a sexual assault on a half-naked woman, bringing his genitalia, which is in the shape of a beast’s face, close to her breast. The attacked woman holds her hands in a praying gesture, attempting to drive her diabolic assailant away with her prayers. Two other demons are seen mocking a third female figure immersed in religious meditation, and are offering her a crown of thorns.94 The unusual iconography of Kistler’s woodcut has led art historian Cécile Dupeux to assert that it depicts “a scene of demonic possession of three religious women.”95 However, readers familiar with the contents of the pamphlet surely realized that the female figures portrayed in the title page were saintly mystics battling with their diabolic tempters. Combats with the devil were a common topos in the legends of the Italian sante vive of the early sixteenth century,96 and Kramer even mentioned the diabolic temptations of Stefana Quinzani in the Clippeum.97 Whether or not Kramer was the one who chose this peculiar image for the German pamphlet, Kistler’s woodcut is certainly in line with his own view of holy women as the mirror image of diabolic witches; whereas the latter indulge in perpetual sexual acts with the devil, the former heroically resist sexual temptations and preserve their chastity.

The sources analyzed in this article indicate that Kramer’s insistence on women’s greater proclivity to witchcraft actually went hand-in-hand with his admiration for the traditional features of medieval female sanctity. Clearly, his [End Page 53] attitude toward women and female spirituality can no longer be explained merely as the culmination of clerical anxieties about the “feminization of sanctity” in the late Middle Ages. Instead, it should be reconsidered in light of the peculiar religious conditions at the close of the fifteenth century, and especially in light of the growth of heretical sects which threatened the monopoly of the Catholic Church on the eve of the Reformation.

Kramer participated in the Church’s attempts to crush heretical sects for over four decades, and his inquisitorial zeal far surpassed that of most of his fellow inquisitors.98 The Alsatian friar was involved in persecutory activities directed against various individuals and groups that he defined as heretical, including not only the Bohemian Brethren, but also Conciliarists, Waldensians, and Taborites.99 While he was evidently very much concerned with the new sect of (female) witches, he explicitly asserted in his Clippeum that the heretical groups that flourished in the Kingdom of Bohemia were just as abominable.100 Strikingly, of the seven polemical tracts that the much-reviled misogynist published during his lifetime, only one was concerned with witches: all the others were aimed at refuting the doctrinal errors advocated by learned men, or held by male-led heretical groups.101 In the long run, of [End Page 54] course, none of Kramer’s other works proved to be nearly as influential as the Malleus. This book’s impressive commercial success certainly attests to Europeans’ growing preoccupation with witchcraft, especially in the century and a half after Kramer’s death.102 Nonetheless, the notorious inquisitor himself was evidently obsessed not just with the sect of witches, but also with other heretical groups, comprising of both women and—to an even larger extent—men.

Misogyny is socially constructed, and there is no denying that there was a misogynistic aspect to Kramer’s writing about women; and yet, the witch-hunter’s view of the female nature was clearly not as simplistic as it has often been portrayed in modern scholarship. Though he was seriously alarmed by what he characterized as a dangerous sect of female witches, Kramer acknowledged the possibility of genuine female sanctity, of women’s authentic mystical experiences, and of true female chastity. Thus, in his attempts to combat the spread of heretical doctrines in Moravia, he did not hesitate to rely on the ecstatic experiences of chaste female mystics, and significantly enforced the fama sanctitatis of four Italian holy women. [End Page 55]

Tamar Herzig
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Acknowledgment

Earlier versions were presented at the 2005 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference and at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin–Madison. I thank Jodi Bilinkoff, Lawrence Buck, Caroline Bynum, Miri Eliav-Feldon, Yaacov Herzig, Michael Heyd, Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Erik Midelfort, Saskia Polackova, Diane Purkiss, Anne Schutte, Martha Skeeters, Moshe Sluhovsky, Gary Waite, and Charles Zika for their comments and suggestions. I am particularly grateful to E. Ann Matter and the Yad Hanadiv Foundation for enabling me to complete the research for this essay as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

Footnotes

1. See esp. Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley, Calif., 1987), 22–23; Peter Dinzelbacher, Heilige oder Hexen? Schicksale auffälliger Frauen in Mittelalter und Frühneuzeit (Zurich, 1995); Richard Kieckhefer, “The Holy and the Unholy: Sainthood, Witchcraft, and Magic in Late Medieval Europe,” in Christendom and Its Discontents: Exclusion, Persecution and Rebellion, 1000–1500, ed. Scott L. Waugh and Peter D. Diehl (Cambridge, 1995), 310–37; Gábor Klaniczay, “Miraculum and Maleficium: Reflections Concerning Late Medieval Female Sainthood,” in Problems in the Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Europe, ed. Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia and Robert W. Scribner (Wiesbaden, 1997), 64–65; Anne Jacobson Schutte, “ ‘Saints’ and ‘Witches’ in Early Modern Italy: Stepsisters or Strangers?” in Time, Space, and Women’s Lives in Early Modern Europe, ed. Anne Jacobson Schutte, Thomas Kuehn, and Silvana Seidel Menchi (Kirksville, Mo., 2001), 153–64; Bengt Ankarloo, “Postface: Saints and Witches,” in Procès de canonisation au moyen âge, ed. Gábor Klaniczay (Rome, 2004), 365–70.

2. Nancy Caciola, Discerning Spirits: Divine and Demonic Possession in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, N.Y., and London, 2003); Dyan Elliott, Proving Woman: Female Spirituality and Inquisitional Culture in the Later Middle Ages (Princeton, N.J., 2004). See also Elspeth Whitney, “The Witch ‘She’/ the Historian ‘He’: Gender and the Historiography of the European Witch-Hunts,” Journal of Women’s History 7, no. 3 (Fall 1995): 91–93; Grace M. Jantzen, Power, Gender and Christian Mysticism (Cambridge, 1997), 264–77.

3. Klaniczay, “The Process of Trance, Heavenly and Diabolic Apparitions in Johannes Nider’s Formicarius,” Collegium Budapest Discussion Paper Series 65 (June 2003): 77–81.

4. On these specifically female forms of medieval spirituality see Bynum’s path-breaking study, Holy Feast and Holy Fast.

5. See esp. Caciola, Discerning Spirits, 277–85; Elliott, Proving Woman, esp. 216–19, 262–69, 284. On the impact of the Great Schism on the growing distrust of female sanctity in early-fifteenth-century clerical milieus, see also John Coakley, “Gender and the Authority of Friars: The Significance of Holy Women for Thirteenth- Century Franciscans and Dominicans,” Church History 60, no. 4 (1991): 460.

6. Klaniczay, “Miraculum and Maleficium,” 64–65, and see also André Vauchez, “Between Virginity and Spiritual Espousals: Models of Feminine Sainthood in the ChristianWest in the Middle Ages,” The Medieval History Journal 2, no. 2 (1999): 359; Caciola, Discerning Spirits, 274–319.

7. Günter Jerouschek, “500 Years of the Malleus Maleficarum,” in Malleus Maleficarum 1487 von Heinrich Kramer (Institoris). Nachdruck des Erstdruckes von 1487 mit Bulle und Approbatio, ed. Günter Jerouschek (Hildesheim, Zurich, and New York, 1992), xli–xliii. Although Kramer’s contemporaries assumed that he had written the Malleus together with Jacob Sprenger, most modern scholars now ascribe the work to Kramer alone. Sprenger, a renowned Dominican theologian, may have allowed his zealous confrere to mention his name in the “Apologia auctoris in Malleus Maleficarum” in order to add prestige and authority to his antiwitchcraft treatise. However, when Kramer became suspect of fabricating one of the official letters of approval for the Malleus, the relationship between the two friars became rather strained. See ibid., xlii–xliii; Klaus-Bernward Springer, “Dominican Inquisition in the Archdiocese of Mainz (1348–1520),” in Praedicatores, Inquisitores I: The Dominicans and the Medieval Inquisition, Acts of the 1st International Seminar on the Dominicans and the Inquisition, 23–25 February 2002 (Rome, 2004), 345–51. In any case, shortly after Sprenger’s death in 1496, his confreres at the Dominican friary in Cologne attempted to dissociate the name of their deceased prior from Kramer’s controversial antiwitchcraft treatise. See André Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar zur Wiedergabe des Erstdrucks von 1487 (Göppingen, 1993), 62. On the circumstances surrounding the composition and publication of the Malleus, see now also Günter Jerouschek and Wolfgang Behringer, “ ‘Das unheilvollste Buch derWeltliteratur?’ Zur Entstehungs- und Wirkungsgeschichte des Malleus Maleficarum und zu den Anfängen der Hexenverfolgung,” in Heinrich Kramer (Institoris), Der Hexenhammer: Malleus Maleficarum, trans. Günter Jerouschek, Wolfgang Behringer, and Werner Tschacher (München, 2000), 9–98; Walter Senner, “How Henricus Institoris Became Inquisitor for Germany: The Origin of Summis desiderantis affectibus,” in Praedicatores, Inquisitores, 395–406.

8. Dyan Elliott, “The Physiology of Rapture and Female Spirituality,” in Medieval Theology and the Natural Body, ed. P. Biller and A. J. Minnis (Rochester, 1997), 167–73, quote from 173. For a critical discussion of Elliott’s arguments in this article, see E. Ann Matter, “Theories of the Passions and the Ecstasies of LateMedieval Religious Women,” Essays in Medieval Studies 18 (2001): 1–16.

9. Cf. Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 452–53; Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Christianity and Sexuality in the Early ModernWorld: Regulating Desire, Reforming Practices (London and New York, 2000), 91; Elaine Camerlynck, “Féminité et sorcellerie chez les théoriciens de la démonologie à la fin du Moyen Age: Étude du Malleus Maleficarum,Renaissance and Reformation 19 (1983): 13–25; E. William Monter, Witchcraft in France and Switzerland: The Borderlands During the Reformation (Ithaca, N.Y., and London, 1976), 24–26; Gary K. Waite, Heresy, Magic, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Houndmills, 2003), 44.

10. Cf. Edward Peters, “The Medieval Church and State on Superstition, Magic and Witchcraft: From Augustine to the Sixteenth Century,” in Karen Jolly, Catharina Raudvere, and Edward Peters, Witchcraft and Magic in Europe, 3: The Middle Ages (London, 2002), 239; Hans Peter Broedel, “To Preserve the Manly Form from so Vile a Crime: Ecclesiastical Anti-Sodomitic Rhetoric and the Gendering of Witchcraft in the Malleus Maleficarum,” Essays in Medieval Studies 19 (2002): 136.

11. Jerouschek, “500 Years of the Malleus Maleficarum,” xxxi.

12. Cf. Michael D. Bailey, “The Feminization of Magic and the Emerging Idea of the Female Witch in the Late Middle Ages,” Essays in Medieval Studies 19 (2002): 120; Sydney Anglo, “Evident Authority and Authoritative Evidence: The Malleus Maleficarum,” in The Damned Art: Essays in the Literature of Witchcraft, ed. Sydney Anglo (London, 1977), 16–17; Anne Llewellyn Barstow, Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts (London, 1994), 62, 171–72. For a recent outline and analysis of the main arguments in the Malleus see Broedel, The ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ and the Construction of Witchcraft: Theology and Popular Belief (Manchester, 2003).

13. Heinrich Kramer (Institoris), Malleus Maleficarum 1487 von Heinrich Kramer (Institoris), ed. Jerouschek, 1.6, esp. fols. 20v–22v and 23r. See also ibid., 1.3, fols. 11r–13v.

14. Cf. Barstow, Witchcraze, 62, 113, 171–72.

15. See esp. Diane Purkiss, The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations (London and New York, 1996), 8–11. For earlier studies that questioned the presumed influence of the Malleus—and of Kramer’s misogynistic witch stereotype—on the realities of the trials in many European regions, see esp. H. C. Erik Midelfort, Witchhunting in Southwestern Germany, 1562–1684: The Social and Intellectual Foundations (Stanford, 1972), 5, 21; Susanna Burghartz, “The Equation of Women and Witches: A Case Study of Witchcraft Trials in Lucerne and Lausanne in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century,” in The German Underworld: Deviants and Outcasts in German History, ed. Richard J. Evans (London, 1988), 59–60; David Harley, “Historians as Demonologists: The Myth of the Midwife-Witch,” Social History of Medicine 3 (1990): 1–26; Robin Briggs, “Women as Victims? Witches, Judges and the Community,” French History 5, no. 4 (1991): 439; Stuart Clark, “The ‘Gendering’ of Witchcraft in French Demonology: Misogyny or Polarity?,” French History 5, no. 4 (1991): 426–37. See now also Katherine Park, “Medicine and Magic: The Healing Arts,” in Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, ed. Judith C. Brown and Robert C. Davis (London and New York, 1998), 144–45; Lara Apps and Andrew Gow, Male Witches in Early Modern Europe (Manchester, 2003), esp. 3–4, 100–108. The Malleus has nonetheless continued to serve as the main point of reference in the writings of some feminist scholars well into the 1990s. See for example Barstow, Witchcraze; Dea Moscarda, “Donna-Strega. Misoginia della grande epoca inquisitoriale (dall’analisi del Malleus Maleficarum e dalla lettura di alcuni altri trattati di demonologia giuridica),” Ricerche di storia sociale e religiosa 40 (1991), esp. 68–69, 89; Jantzen, Power, Gender and Christian Mysticism, 264–77, and the discussion in Alison Rowlands, “Telling Witchcraft Stories: New Perspectives on Witchcraft and Witches in the Early Modern Period,” Gender and History 10, no. 2 (August 1998): 296; Willem de Blécourt, “The Making of the Female Witch: Reflections on Witchcraft and Gender in the Early Modern Period,” Gender and History 12, no. 2 (July 2000): 292.

16. Clark, Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Oxford and New York, 1997), esp. 110–16; Walter Stephens, Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief (Chicago and London, 2002), 32–55.

17. See Jerouschek, “500 Years of the Malleus Maleficarum,” xxxi–xxxii, xxxv, xlvi; Sigrid Brauner, Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews: The Construction of the Witch in Early Modern Germany, ed. Robert H. Brown (Amherst, Mass., 1995), esp. 3, 13–23, 31–49; Gerhild Scholz Williams, Defining Dominion: The Discourses of Magic and Witchcraft in Early Modern France and Germany (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1995), 1–12, 65–87, 135–36; Broedel, The ‘Malleus Maleficarum,’ esp. 7–8, 19–20, 158, 167–84; Bailey, “From Sorcery to Witchcraft: Clerical Conceptions of Magic in the Late Middle Ages,” Speculum 76 (2001), esp. 986–87, and see also Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1993), 226; Broedel, “To Preserve the Manly Form from so Vile a Crime,” 136–37.

18. For example Anglo, “Evident Authority,” 16; Julio Caro Baroja, The World of the Witches, trans. O. N. V. Glendinning, 3rd English impression (Chicago, 1971), 95–97; Jean Delumeau, La peur en occident XIVe–XVIIIe siècles: Une cité assiégée (Paris, 1978), 308, 322–23; Camerlynck, “Féminité et sorcellerie,” 22–23, and see the critique of this psycho-historical explanation in Midelfort, Witchhunting in Southwestern Germany, 5.

19. See esp. Klaniczay, “Miraculum and Maleficium,” 64–65; Vauchez, “Between Virginity and Spiritual Espousals,” 359; Caciola, Discerning Spirits, 318–19; Elliott, “The Physiology of Rapture and Female Spirituality,” 167–73.

20. Notable exceptions are the comprehensive biographical accounts in Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, esp. 33–73, and Peter Segl, “Heinrich Institoris: Persönlichkeit und literarisches werk,” in Der Hexenhammer: Entstehung und Umfeld des ‘Malleus maleficarum’ von 1487, ed. Peter Segl (Cologne, 1988), 102–26. See also the discussion of the latter part of Kramer’s inquisitorial career, in the context of the changing religious practices at the end of the fifteenth century, in Charles Zika, “Hosts, Processions and Pilgrimages: Controlling the Sacred in Fifteenth-Century Germany,” Past and Present 118 (1988): 27–30.

21. Quoted from Broedel, TheMalleus Maleficarum,’ 14. Stuart Clark has recently emphasized the need to situate early modern witch-hunters’ manuals within the broader context of their authors’ entire life circumstances in his review of Michael D. Bailey’s book Battling Demons: Witchcraft, Heresy and Reform in the Late Middle Ages (University Park, Pa., 2003), in the American Historical Review 108, no. 5 (December 2003): 1510.

22. Gabriella Zarri, Le sante vive: Profezie di corte e devozione femminile tra ’400 e ’500 (Turin, 1990). For Zarri’s impact on the study of Brocadelli, Quinzani, Guadagnoli, and the other Italian “holy women” of the early sixteenth century, see the bibliographical survey in Tamar Herzig, “Holy Women, Male Promoters, and Savonarolan Piety in Northern Italy, c. 1498–1545” (Ph.D. diss., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2005), 12–15.

23. On Brocadelli and her short-lived saintly career see Herzig, “The Rise and Fall of a Savonarolan Visionary: Lucia Brocadelli’s Contribution to the Piagnone Movement,” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 95 (2004): 34–60; Adriano Prosperi, “Brocadelli (Broccadelli), Lucia,” Dizionario biografico degli Italiani (Rome, 1960–), 14:381–83; E. Ann Matter, “Prophetic Patronage as Repression: Lucia Brocadelli da Narni and Ercole d’Este,” in Christendom and Its Discontents, 168–76; Eadem, “Lucia Brocadelli: Seven Revelations,” in Dominican Penitent Women, ed. Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner (New York and Mahwah, N.J., 2005), 212–16.

24. Most of Bartholomeo Silvestri’s original registers from the years 1477–1528 are preserved at the Archivio di Stato di Ferrrara (Ser. notai, matricola 338: “Silvestri, Bartolomeo,” pacchi 1–31), but those dating from 1498 until mid-June 1500 are no longer extant. Nonetheless, one contemporary copy of the notarial certificate of March 2, 1500 can be found in the carte numbered 332r–332v, and another in the carte numbered 333r–335v, in the Archivio Generalizio dell’Ordine dei Predicatori, Convento di Santa Sabina, Rome (hereafter AGOP), Sez. XIV, lib. GGG, Pt. I.

25. Kramer had been serving as inquisitor of Germania superior since 1479. See Springer, “Dominican Inquisition in the Archdiocese of Mainz,” 346–47.

26. AGOP, Sez. XIV, lib. GGG, Pt. I, cc. 333v–334v: “Hi omnes supranominati, Requisiti à Venerabili et Reverendo ac Religioso patre, Sacre Theologie Doctore, Magistro fratre Henrico ordinis predicatorum Institore ac Inquisitore heretice pravitatis per Superiorem Germaniam . . . declarari, et exprimi . . . an veritas sit eadem Venerabilem Sororem Luciam Stigmata habere in memberis eius . . . unanimiter Verbo veritatis affirmarunt . . . vidisse . . . Reverendam Sororem Luciam Narnensem, habere, et deferre Cicatrices, seu vulnera, que stigmata nuncupantur, in ambabus manibus, et in ambobus pedibus eius.”

27. The only scholar that I know of who has noted the manuscript copies of the notarial certificate (without pointing to the significance of Kramer’s involvement in examining Brocadelli’s stigmata) is Michael Tavuzzi, who mentions them in passing in his article “Giovanni Rafanelli da Ferrara OP (+1515), Inquisitor of Ferrara and Master of the Sacred Palace,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 67 (1997): 140–41.

28. Giacomo Marcianese, Narratione della nascità, vita e morte della B. Lucia da Narni dell’ordine di San Domenico, fondatrice del monastero di Santa Caterina da Siena di Ferrara (Ferrara, 1640), 11; cf. Edmund G. Gardner, Dukes and Poets in Ferrara: A Study in the Poetry, Religion and Politics of the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries (1904; reprint New York, 1968), 366.

29. I use the term “Kingdom of Bohemia” to denote the entire Bohemian realm which, at that time, included Moravia and Silesia. The papal bull, and other documents pertaining to Kramer’s assignment to Olmütz, are printed in Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 67–68.

30. On the evolution of the Unitas fratrum, and on their ties with the Waldensians, see Malcolm Lambert, Medieval Heresy: Popular Movements from the Gregorian Reform to the Reformation, 2nd ed. (Oxford and Cambridge, Mass., 1992), 352–60; Edmund De Schweinitz, The History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum or the Unity of the Brethren, Founded by the Followers of John Huss, the Bohemian Reformer and Martyr (Bethlehem, Pa., 1901), 140, 180–81; Gabriel Audisio, The Waldensian Dissent: Persecution and Survival, c. 1170–1570 (Cambridge, 1999), 84–85. On the use of the term “Waldensians” by Catholic authorities referring to the Bohemian Brethren see Josef Müller, “Bohemian Brethren,” in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1908–12; reprint Grand Rapids, Mich., 1963–66), 2:214. Kramer had been involved in the persecution of Waldensians long before he started aiming his inquisitorial zeal against the Bohemian Brethren; as early as 1458, he participated in the inquisitorial trial against the Waldensian bishop Friedrich Reiser (1401–58) in Strasburg. See Segl, “Heinrich Institoris,” 116; Jerouschek and Behringer, “ ‘Das unheilvollste Buch der Weltliteratur?’,” 41; Wolfgang Behringer, “How Waldensians Became Witches: Heretics and Their Journey to the OtherWorld,” in Communicating with the Spirits, ed. Gábor Klaniczay and Éva Pócs in collaboration with Eszter Csonka-Takács (Budapest and New York, 2005), 183.

31. Kramer expressed an abiding concern for the host and invested considerable efforts in the defense of eucharistic reality throughout his inquisitorial career. See Zika, “Hosts, Processions and Pilgrimages,” 27–28, and Stephens, Demon Lovers, 223–32.

32. On Kramer’s public disputation with Thomas of Prelouc and Lawrence Krasonicky, see Joseph Müller, Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder (Herrnhut, 1922), 311–12; E. Charvériat, Les affaires religieuses en Bohême au seizième siècle: Depuis l’origine des Frères Bohèmes jusques et y compris la lettre de majesté de 1609 (Paris, 1886), 30–31; De Schweinitz, The History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum, 183; Rudolf Říčan, The History of the Unity of the Brethren: A Protestant Hussite Church in Bohemia and Moravia, trans. C. Daniel Crews (Bethlehem, Pa., 1992), 91–92.

33. The Dominicans’ attempts to promote these three Italian tertiaries were particularly related to their rivalry with the Franciscans, who denied the possibility of female stigmatization (see below). On the importance that religious persons ascribed to the number of saintly individuals associated with their order see Jodi Bilinkoff, Related Lives: Confessors and Their Female Penitents, 1450–1750 (Ithaca and New York, 2005), 38–39.

34. On Stefana Quinzani see Niccolò del Re, “Quinzani, Stefana,” in Bibliotheca Sanctorum (Rome, 1961–69), 10: cols. 1318–1321; Lehmijoki-Gardner, Dominican Penitent Women, 192–97. On Quinzani’s admiration for Brocadelli, and on her ties with Brocadelli’s supporters, see Herzig, “Holy Women, Male Promoters,” 173–79, 360–80, 405–13.

35. For recent surveys of Guadagnoli’s life see the essays in Una santa, una città: Atti del Convegno storico nel V centenario della venuta a Perugia di Colomba da Rieti, ed. Giovanna Casagrande and Enrico Menestò (Spoleto, 1991); Enrico Menestò and Roberto Rusconi, Umbria sacra e civile (Turin, 1989), 211–26, 261–62; Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Worldly Saints: The Social Interaction of Dominican Penitent Women in Italy, 1200–1500 (Helsinki, 1998), 49–50; Gabriella Zarri, “Colomba da Rieti,” in Il grande libro dei santi: Dizionario enciclopedico, ed. C. Leonardi, A. Riccardi, and G. Zarri (Turin, 1998), 1:467–70; Maria Luisa Cianini Pierotti, Colomba da Rieti a Perugia: “Ecco la Santa. Ecco la Santa che viene” (Bologna, 2001). On Guadagnoli’s abstinence from food and eucharistic devotion see the discussion in Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast, esp. 86–87, 142–49; cf. Rudolph M. Bell, Holy Anorexia (Chicago, 1985), 156–58. On Guadagnoli’s friendship with Brocadelli and her supporters see Herzig, “Holy Women, Male Promoters,” 66–114.

36. Thomas’s letter to Albrecht of Sternberg is cited in Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 72–73, and see also Říčan, History of the Unity of the Brethren, 92.

37. See for example Joachim Camerarius, “De Ecclesiis Fratrum in Bohemia et Moravia Narratio Historica,” in his Historica narratio de Fratrum orthodoxorum ecclesiis in Bohemia, Moravia et Polonia, ed. Ludwig Camerarius, 2 vols. in 1 (Heidelberg, 1605), 96: “Atque concedunt cohorti Papali, in primis Monachicis conventibus, miraculorum mirabilium laudem, atque gloriam, et ridiculas atque futiles notas stigmatum cruentorum, quocunque sane pacto, non solum in Franciscana sectâ viris, sed virginibus quoque impressas in familiâ Dominicana, et a cibo incredibilem abstinentiam aliorum, et similes fabulas atque nugas: quales recenset Henricus quispiam Institoris cognomine, in concionibus sane mirificis suis, nominans Luciam, Columbam, Stephanam, ut taceantur alliae fallaciae.” Although Joachim Camerarius completed this work before his death in 1574, it was only published for the first time in 1605 by his grandson, Ludwig (De Schweinitz, History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum, 412–13).

38. See the “Excusatio fratrum valdensium contra binas litteras doctoris Augustini datas ad regem,” originally written in 1508 and printed in Jacob Ziegler, In hoc volumine haec continentur: Duplex Co[n]fessio Valdensiu[m] ad Regem Ungarie missa. . . . Excusatio Valdensium contra binas litteras Doctoris Augustini. Iacobi Zigler ex Landau Bavarie Contra heresim Valdensium libri quinq[ue] (Leipzig, 1512); Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 71. On Kramer’s slanderous sermons against the Brethren and their possible impact on the decreasing toleration of the Unitas fratrum in the Kingdom of Bohemia, see also De Schweinitz, History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum, 183; Říčan, History of the Unity of the Brethren, 91; Müller, “Bohemian Brethren,” 215.

39. On the Clippeum as an important source for Kramer’s activities during the last years of his life see Segl, “Heinrich Institoris,” 124–26.

40. Cf. Müller, “Bohemian Brethren,” 214.

41. Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum Adversus walde[n]sium seu Pickardorum heresim (Olmütz, 1501), fol. 19v: “Su[n]t nempe per Lombardias inter q[uam]plures virgines devotas christi in magna vite sanctimonia cognite. Et hoc dumtaxat in una religione que de penitencia sancti Dominici nu[n]cupa[n]tur demotis aliis religionibus in quib[us] plures clarent miraculis. Et inter illas habentur tres excellentissime sanctitatis.”

42. Ibid., fols. 10r; 18r–22v; 50r; 79v. On Andreasi see Zarri, “Pietà e profezia alle corti padane: Le pie consigliere dei principi,” in Il Rinascimento nelle corti padane: Società e cultura, ed. Paolo Rossi (Bari, 1977), 201–37; Gherardo Cappelluti, “Andreasi, Osanna,” in Bibliotheca Sanctorum, 1: cols. 1171–74; Giuseppe Bagolini and Ludovico Ferretti, La Beata Osanna Andreasi da Mantova terziaria domenicana (1449–1505) (Florence, 1905); Lehmijoki-Gardner, Dominican Penitent Women, 201–11.

43. Gabriella Zarri, “Lucia da Narni e il movimento femminile savonaroliano,” in Girolamo Savonarola da Ferrara all’Europa, ed. Gigliola Fragnito and Mario Miegge (Florence, 2001), 102–12. As is well known, Saint Catherine’s devotees regarded her as a real stigmatic, even though no visible marks of the stigmata had ever appeared on her body. When they attempted to have the reality of her stigmata officially recognized in the second half of the fifteenth century, they met with the resolute opposition of Franciscan theologians. During the years 1472–78, the Franciscan pope Sixtus IV promulgated several bulls prohibiting the artistic representation of Catherine’s stigmatization, and forbidding Dominican preachers from mentioning it in their sermons. Innocent VIII confirmed this ban in 1490 and, although the Dominicans later persuaded Alexander VI to permit Catherine’s depiction with signs of non-bloody stigmata wounds, the controversy was only resolved in their favor in 1630. See Barbara Pike Gordley, “A Dominican Saint for the Benedictines: Beccafumi’s Stigmatization of St. Catherine,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 55, no. 3 (1992): 397–98; André Vauchez, The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefs and Devotional Practices, ed. Daniel Bornstein, trans. Margery J. Schneider (Notre Dame and London, 1993), 249–50.

44. The public influence and visionary and prophetic activities of these four women are discussed in Herzig, “Holy Women, Male Promoters.” See 68–73, 86–103 for Guadagnoli, 151–161, 194–224 for Brocadelli, 360–380, 405–413 for Quinzani, and 224–255 for Andreasi. See also Eadem, “The Rise and Fall,” 34–59.

45. Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum, fol. 22v: “Et hec sufficia[n]t in approbatio[n]em veritatis fidei s[an]cte Romane ecclesie.”

46. De Schweinitz, History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum, 117–18, 134–35, 205; cf. Wolfgang Behringer, “Detecting the Ultimate Conspiracy, or How Waldensians Became Witches,” in Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory in Early Modern Europe: From the Waldensians to the French Revolution, ed. Barry Coward and Julian Swann (Aldershot, 2004), 20–21; idem, “How Waldensians Became Witches,” 180–81.

47. Cf. Camerarius, “De Ecclesiis Fratrum in Bohemia et Moravia Narratio Historica,” 95–96.

48. Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum, fols. 21v–22v: “ea que ab summo rerum opifice in servorum suorum corporib[us] oste[n]duntur, ad fidei nostrae confortat[io]nem et robur et impiorum et i[n]durati cordis virorum incredulitate[m] summove[n]da[m] . . . [et] nobis testimoniu[m] reddunt et fidem hanc nostra[m] catholicam vera[m] esse, et sancta[m] Romanam ecclesiam esse fidei matrem, et i[n] o[mn]ibus q[ui] ad salute[m] et bonos mores specta[n]t esse sequendam.” On Ercole’s letter of March 4, 1500, from which Kramer cited this passage, see below.

49. Ibid., fol. 10r: “una Lucia nomine, ferrarie dege[n]s, Stigmata n[ost]ri salvatoris quinq[ue] in suo corpore visibiliter defert, que et oculis conspexi”; ibid., fol. 79v: “Etiam si nullis aliis ab extra clarerent miraculis uti soror Lucia . . . iam autem Ferrarie degens, stigmatibus nostri saluatoris visibiliter insignita in manibus et pedibus et latere cum stillacione sanguinis singulis sextis feriis. . . . existit. Quam et ego inquisitor visitando in anno iubileo stigmata vidi et osculatus sum.” The last passage has been noted in passing by Sigmund Riezler, Geschichte der Hexenprozesse in Bayern. Im Lichte der allgemeinen Entwickelung dargestellt (Stuttgart, 1896), 101, and by Segl, “Heinrich Institoris,” 126, n. 103, and is quoted in Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 64. Riezler, Segl, and Schnyder do not mention the notarial certificate that attests to Kramer’s personal involvement in examining Brocadelli, or his role in publishing the pamphlet Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia aliarumque spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna (see below).

50. See for example: Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum, fol. 19v: “De illa sanctissima virgine in viterbiensi civitate primo, n[u]nc autem ferrarie degens nomine Lucia”; “de hac ipsa Lucia virgine”; “Copia instrume[n]ti publici super stigmata venerabilis virginis Lucie.”

51. E. Ann Matter, Armando Maggi, Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, and Gabriella Zarri, “Lucia Brocadelli da Narni—riscoperta di un manoscritto pavese,” Bolletino della società pavese di storia patria (2000): 173–99, and see the discussion of Brocadelli’s virginity within the broader context of chaste marriage in the Middle Ages in Dyan Elliott, Spiritual Marriage: Sexual Abstinence in Medieval Wedlock (Princeton, N.J., 1993), esp. 218–22, 275.

52. Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum, fol. 79v: “soror Lucia . . . cilicio induta, cincta cathena ferrea circa lumbos ad nudam carnem virgo viginti septem annorum existit. Quam et ego inquisitor visitando in anno iubileo stigmata vidi.”

53. See n. 56 below.

54. Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum, fol. 79v: “visitando in anno iubileo . . . in testimonium veritatis litteram ducali sigillo munitam, ut alibi deducitur, accepi.”

55. Ibid., fols. 21v–22v.

56. Ibid., fols. 19v–21v. Kramer asserts that the examination of Quinzani’s ecstasy of the Passion was conducted in February 1496, but according to the hagiographic tradition of Quinzani’s life, it was actually held in February 1497. The notarial certificate of this examination, which was probably published for the first time in the Clippeum, was later reproduced in Giuseppe Brunati, ed., Vita o gesta di santi bresciani, 2nd ed. (Brescia, 1854–56), 2:55–62. It was recently translated into English by Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner (Dominican Penitent Women, 192–97). The examination of Brocadelli’s stigmata in April 1497, which was conducted by the Dominican inquisitor Domenico of Gargnano, is also mentioned in Brocadelli’s early modern hagiographies. See for example Marcianese, Narratione, 107–8.

57. Kramer’s continuous support of a harsh persecution of witches until his death in 1505 has been noted by Müller, Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder, 311 and n. 102; Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 70–71; Waite, Heresy, Magic, and Witchcraft, 53.

58. Cf. Lambert, Medieval Heresy, 352–53; Behringer, “Detecting the Ultimate Conspiracy,” 15.

59. See Kramer, Sancte Romane ecclesie fidei defensionis clippeum, fols. 88r–89v, and esp. Kramer’s assertion on fol. 81r: “prout alibi in sermonibus contra maleficas ad longum est a nobis discussum; et in tractatu mallei maleficarum conclusimus contra illos, qui maleficas esse negant.” As already noted, Kramer accused both the Bohemian Brethren and the members of the witches’ sect of participating in lascivious nocturnal gatherings.

60. See esp. the “Excusatio fratrum valdensium contra binas litteras doctoris Augustini datas ad regem”; Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 71.

61. See for example the description of the Apostolicae bullae super plenariam remissionem et cruciatae erectionem contra christianae fidei hostes declaratio per opusculum praedicabile (which was printed in Olmütz by the publishing house of Konrad Baumgarten in 1501) in Jaroslav Vobr, Catalogus librorum ab a. MDI ad a. MDXX typis impressorum, qui in Scientiarum bibliotheca publica Brunensi asservantur (Brno, 1986), 2:248–49: “F. vii: cleme[n]tia in p[ar]tibus Lombardie p[er] miraculosam vitam quaru[n]dam sancta[ru]m virginum.” For a list of extant copies of the 1501 and 1502 editions of the Clippeum, see ibid., 249–51. For the discussion of Brocadelli, Guadagnoli, Quinzani, Andreasi, and their miraculous gifts in the second Latin edition of the Clippeum, see Kramer, Sancte Romane ecclesie fidei defensionis clippeum adversus waldensium seu pikardorum heresim (Olmütz, 1502), fols. ixr, xvir–xxv.

62. Johannes Trithemius, Annalium Hirsaugiensium, Opus nunquam hactenus editum, & ab Eruditis semper desideratum Complectens Historiam Franciae et Germaniae Gesta imperatorum, regum, principum, episcoporum, abbatum, et illustrium virorum (S. Galius, 1690), vol. 2, p. 580. Trithemius was evidently familiar with some of Kramer’s writings, and was profoundly influenced by the Malleus. See Henry Charles Lea, Materials toward a History of Witchcraft, ed. Arthur C. Howland with an introduction by George Lincoln Burr, 3 vols. (New York and London, 1957), 1:369–70;Wolfgang Behringer, Witchcraft Persecutions in Bavaria: Popular Magic, Religious Zealotry and Reason of State in Early Modern Europe, trans. J. C. Grayson and David Lederer (Cambridge, 1997), 74.

63. Odoricus Raynaldus, Annales ecclesiastici. Ab anno MCXCVIII ubi car. Baronius desinit, vol. 19 (Rome, 1663), under “1500”: “Conspecta a se & palpata eadem stigmata, dum censoris fidei munere fungebatur, testatur Henricus Insistoris in libro, quo veritatem fidei catholicae coelestibus prodigiis hoc tempore confirmatam probat adversus hereticos.”

64. AGOP, Sez. X, no. 1736, “Ferrarien. Concessionis Officii, & Missae in honorem Beatae Luciae de Narnia Ordinis Sancti Dominici. Responsio ad animadversiones Reverendissimi Promotoris Fidei,” in Sacra rituum congregatione Em.o, & Rm.o D. Cardinali Fini ferrarien. concessionis officii, & missae in honorem Beatae Luciae de Narnia ordinis Praedicatorum memoriale, 3: “Virginisque titulo illam denominant . . . Enricus Institoris Inquisitor Dominicanus coaevus Beatae Luciae in tractatu adversus Pikardos, seuWaldenses”; Domenico Ponsi, Vita della beata Lucia vergine di Narni (Rome, 1711), 36: “Giovanni Tritemo, ed Enrico Institore, contemporanei di Lucia, nelle loro storie la chiamano vergine”; ibid., 103: “testimonianze de’ Scrittori, quali parlano delle Stigmate di questa nostra Beata, come di un prodigio approvato, ed indubitato, e specialmente di due contemporanei, cioè di Giovanni Tritemio, e del Padre Enrico Institore, quale essendo Inquisitore ne fece un rigoroso esame.”

65. See the first page of the pamphlet Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia aliarumque spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna [ed. Heinrich Kramer] (Olmütz, 1501): “no[n]nulli homines ex in[n]ata eorum malicia atque p[er]versitate ore temerario i[n] quibusdam p[ar]tibus Slesie signa[n]terque perMoravia[m] virginem prefata[m] integerrimam uti muliercula[m] impudicissima[m] p[ro]fessionisque sue immemorem predicarent.” An unmutilated exemplar of the Stigmifere can now be found at Warsaw University Library (shelfmark 28.6.5.17). In another extant copy of the pamphlet, now in the Rare Books Collection in the Research Library in Olmütz (shelfmark 48.884), both the title page and the colophon are missing. My heartfelt thanks to Mr. Rostislav Krusinsky of the Research Library in Olmütz and toMs. Marianna Czapnik of Warsaw University Library for sending me copies of these two exemplars.

66. Kramer’s involvement in editing and publishing the Stigmifere has already been noted by the Czech scholar Jaroslav Vobr, in his study of Konrad Baumgarten’s printing activity in Olmütz: “Příspĕvek k činnosti Konráda Baumgartena v Olomouci 1501–1502,” Problematika historických a vzácných knižních fond&uring Čech, Moravy a Slezska 5 (1996): 11. The emblem that Kramer adopted during his term of office as papal nuncio and inquisitor in Moravia appears in the colophon of the Stigmifere, alongside the coat of arms of Pope Alexander VI. Kramer’s emblem, which also appears in the title page of the Clippeum, has been identified by Ivo Hlobil, “Nejstarší Olomoucké knižní dřevořezy: Knižní dřevořezy olomoucké diecéze mezi léty 1499–1505 a jejich protireformačni význam,” Umĕní 24, no. 4 (1976): 329, 348 n. 34 (and see the reproduction of the emblem in ibid., 332). See also Aneta Hynková, “Pătisté výroĉỉ knihtisku Olomouci,” Problematika historických a vzácných knižních fond&uring Čech, Moravy a Slezska 8 (1999): 129.

67. The date of publication is noted on the last page of the pamphlet (Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . , no foliation). Baumgarten had been invited to Olmütz by the Canon Regular Augustinus Olomucensis Moravus (1467–1513), one of the most ardent clerical opponents of the Unitas fratrum in Moravia. In October 1500, Baumgarten pulished Moravus’ polemical tract against the Bohemian Brethren, and much of his subsequent publishing activity in Olmütz was aimed at serving the Catholic Church’s campaign against local heretical groups. See Hlobil, “Nejstarší Olomoucké knižní dřevořezy,” 328–49; Hynková, “Pătisté výroĉí knihtisku Olomouci,” 129–130; Vobr, “Příspĕvek k činnosti Konráda Baumgartena v Olomouci 1501–1502,” 10–16.

68. Koberger, owner of the largest printing house in Nuremberg, issued one of the first editions of the Malleus in 1494. In 1496, he published Kramer’s polemical tract Tractatus varii cum sermonibus contra quattuor errores novissime exortos adversus divinissimum eucharistie sacramentum and another edition of the Malleus. On these editions, see Charles Zika, “Dürer’s Witch, Riding Women and Moral Order,” in Dürer and His Culture, ed. Dagmar Eichberger and Charles Zika (Cambridge and New York, 1998), 130–31; idem, “Hosts, Processions and Pilgrimages,” 127–28; Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 452. The title page of Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . is reproduced in Ivo Hlobil (“Nejstarší Olomoucké knižní dřevořezy,” 331), who identifies the three religious women as the three Marys. A more elaborate version of this woodcut appears on the title page of the abridged version of the pamphlet, Spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna, on which see below (on the Spiritualium’s title page see Zarri, “Lucia da Narni e il movimento femminile savonaroliano,” 108).

69. Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . (no foliation): “ad laudem dei optimi maximi ac oblectacione co[n]solacioneq[ue] christi fidelibus et precipue p[er] adiumento v[eri]tatis.”

70. Ibid. Ercole heard about Brocadelli’s detractors from Kramer’s confrere, Jacobus Johannes Streller (1463–1521), a Silesian friar who had studied theology in the Dominican Studium generale in Bologna (1496–99) and probably got to know Kramer during his sojourn in Rome in 1500. On Streller, see Gabriel M. Löhr, “Breslauer Dominikaner des 15. Jahrhunderts auf auswärtigen Hochschulen,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 13 (1943): 174. Streller, who apparently met Ercole d’Este on his way back from Rome in the summer of 1501, was a filius of the Dominican friary of S. Adalbert in Breslau, whose members had collaborated with the bishops of Breslau in the persecution of heretical groups ever since the emergence of the Hussite movement in the early fifteenth century (cf. Pawe³ Kras, “Dominican Inquisitors in Medieval Poland [14th–15th c.],” in Praedicatores, Inquisitores, esp. 264–67, 296–307).

71. Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . (no foliation): “videre voluim[us] et tangere adhibuimusque medicorum et alioru[m] pluriu[m] peritoru[m] et prude[n]tiu[m] virorum iudiciu[m] et nedu[m] semel, s[ed] pluries et pluries sicq[ue] p[er] veritate esse c[om]p[er]tu[m] e[st].” In this pamphlet, Ercole’s letter is dated July 23, 1501, but the copy of the letter that had been sent to Olmütz (now in the Archivio di Stato di Modena, Ser. Giurisdizione sovrana, busta 430B [“Santi e beati”]) indicates that it was originally written on January 23, 1501.

72. See the discussion of Ercole’s letter of January 23, 1501, based on the abridged version of the pamphlet, Spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna, in Zarri, “Pietà e profezia alle corti padane,” 217–18 and nn. 62–64.

73. See Kramer’s preface to the Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . (no foliation): “Illustrissim[us] ac cristianissimus pri[n]ceps et dominus d[omi]n[u]s Hercules dux Ferrarie . . . cum fide dignas l[itte]ras spectabilibus Nurberge[n]sis co[n]sulibus plerisq[ue] aliis me[n]sibus direxit.” As is well known, Kramer had already sent the Nuremberg city council a manuscript with instructions for the prosecution of witches, in both Latin and German, in 1491 (Rudolf Endres, “Heinrich Institoris, sein Hexenhammer und der Nürnberger rat,” in Der Hexenhammer, 195–216; Brauner, Fearless Wives, 32–33, 129, n. 7; the facsimile copy of this manuscript was published in 1992 by Günter Jerouschek as: Nürnberger Hexenhammer 1491 von Heinrich Kramer [Institoris]: Faksimile der Handschrift von 1491 aus dem Staatsarchiv Nürnberg, Nr. D 251 [Hildesheim, Zurich and New York, 1992]). Kramer’s ongoing ties with prominent citizens in Nuremberg are indicated by the publication of three editions of his works by Anton Koberger, the owner of the largest publishing house in this city, who may have been involved in commissioning the woodcut for the Stigmifere’s title page from Dürer’s workshop (cf. n. 68 above).

74. On Thorzo (bishop of Olmütz during the years 1497–1540), his ties with Kramer, and his active involvement in the persecution of the Unitas fratrum, see Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 64–67; Říčan, History of the Unity of the Brethren, 94; Vobr, “Příspĕvek k činnosti Konráda Baumgartena v Olomouci 1501–1502,” 12.

75. Jacobus Johannes Streller’s involvement in obtaining these documents can probably explain why they were also addressed to the bishop of Breslau (see n. 70 above). The original documents were kept in S. Adalbert, where Streller served as subprior (since the fall of 1501), and later as prior (cf. Löhr, “Breslauer Dominikaner,” 174). See the first page of the Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . (no foliation): “Transsumpta quedam ex parte virginis Stygmifere Sororis Lucie de Narnia tercii habitus Cherubici dominici patriarche Sacri predicator[um] ordinis quo[rum] origenalia [sic] habe[n]tur in conve[n]tu Wratislauien. sancti Adalberti vite regularis eiusdem ordini provincie polonie,” and Hlobil, “Nejstarší Olomoucké knižní dřevořezy,” 341.

76. See for example: AGOP, Sez. X, no. 1736, “Ferrarien. Concessionis Officii, & Missae in honorem Beatae Luciae de Narnia Ordinis Sancti Dominici. Summarium,” in Sacra rituum congregatione Em.o, & Rm.o D. Cardinali Fini ferrarien. concessionis offi- cii, & missae in honorem Beatae Luciae de Narnia ordinis Praedicatorum memoriale, 4–9.

77. Copies of the original letters that had been sent to the Nuremberg aldermen (“Spectabilibus et prestantissimis viris Amicis Carissimis Consulibus Civitatis Inclyte Nurimburgensis”) in January 1501, and of Ippolito d’Este’s letter of July 24, 1501, are kept in the Archivio Storico Diocesano (Curia Arcivescovile di Ferrara-Comacchio), Fondo Santa Caterina da Siena, busta 3/25 (“Processi della Beata Lucia da Narni”). The copies of the letters that were sent to Olmütz and Breslau later in 1501, with slips specifying that their addressees were the bishop of Olmütz, the bishop of Breslau, and the princes and Christian people of Silesia and Moravia, are now in the Archivio di Stato di Modena, Ser. Giurisdizione sovrana, busta 430B (“Santi e beati”), no. 32–36.

78. Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . (no foliation): “nobis testimoniu[m] reddu[n]t fide[m] catholica[m] nostra[m] vera[m] e[ss]e, et s[an]cta[m]que Romanam ecclesiam esse fidei matrem.” Cf. Kramer, Sancte Romane eccl[es]ie fidei defensionis clippeum (1501 ed.), fol. 22v.

79. Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia . . . (no foliation): “Ephitaphium ad Sepulcrum positum Sororis Coloumbe tertii habitus Cherubici Dominici.” Several epipaphs in honor of Guadagnoli were written after her death, and some of them were attached to the hagiographic legend published by Leandro Alberti in 1521. See Zarri, Le sante vive, 131 n. 44; Cianini Pierotti, Colomba da Rieti a Perugia, 195–96.

80. This German pamphlet was titled Wunderbarliche geschicht vonn geystlichenn weybes personenn (cf. Vobr, “Příspĕvek k činnosti Konráda Baumgartena,” 13).

81. I consulted the microfilm reproduction of the Cambridge University Library copy of this edition—of which the title page is missing—at Princeton University Library (microfilm no. 05353): [Stigmifere virginis Lucie de Narnia aliarumque spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratione digna] (Seville, 1502). The documents in this pamphlet appear both in the Latin original and in a Spanish translation, and include Ippolito d’Este’s letter of July 24, 1501. According to the preface, copies of the documents printed in this pamphlet were kept by the Vicar General of the Observant Dominican Congregation of Castile: “Transumptum litteraru[m] . . . de veritate sacroru[m] styg[ma]tum xpifere virginis sororis Lucie de Narnia . . . ex originali sigillato (quod apud se habet reverendus pater v. g. de observancia eiusdem ordinis provincie hispanie).” See also Vicente Beltrán de Heredia, Historia de la reforma de la provincia de España 1450–1550 (Rome, 1939), 130.

82. The precise date of publication is unknown, although it was probably published before the German version of this pamphlet was issued in Strasburg in 1502. The documents themselves were kept in the Dominican friary in Nuremberg, as noted in the first page of the pamphlet: Spiritualium personarum feminei sexus facta admiratio[n]e digna (n. p., n.d. [Nuremberg, 1501?], no foliation): “Transumpta queda[m] ex parte Sororis Lucie quarunda[m]que aliarum Sororum nu[n]cupate de tercia Regula divi patris Dominici ordinis p[re]dicatorum primi fundatoris: quorum originalia cum quibusdam notabilibus testimoniis habentur in Conventu Nurmbergensi eiusdem ordinis.” Dyan Elliott has recently argued that the quasi-inquisitorial documents printed in the Spiritualium attest to the “zeal for documentary evidence in support of the claims of a living saint,” which reached its peak in the early sixteenth century (Elliott, Proving Woman, 191–92). I think that the personal involvement of an experienced, indefatigable inquisitor like Kramer in obtaining and publishing these documents can probably explain this impressive repertoire of official “proofs” for Brocadelli’s holiness.

83. The extant copy of this pamphlet in the British Library (shelfmark 4825.C.30) is erroneously cataloged under the main entry of “Lucy [Broccoletta], Saint, of Narni” (see the British Library Integrated Catalogue website— http://catalogue.bl.uk ). The Spiritualium was first mentioned in 1904 in Gardner, Dukes and Poets in Ferrara, 364–376, but see esp. Zarri, Le sante vive, 60–61. Kramer’s emblem does not appear in British Library exemplar of the Spiritualium, and scholars of Italian religious history have hitherto not noted his involvement in the publication of the fuller (and presumably earlier) version of this pamphlet in Olmü tz in September 1501.

84. The Spiritualium’s title page includes additional details, such as the instruments of the Passion and background flora, which must have been added to the less elaborate original version in the Stigmifere.

85. Wunderbarlithe geschichte[n], die do geschehen synt von geystliche[n] wybs personen in disen Joren (n.p. [Strasburg?], 1502). I consulted the microfiche reproduction of this edition of the pamphlet at Memorial Library, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Microfiche 3482, no. 370). On the title page of this German edition, see below.

86. Cf. Ian Maclean, The Renaissance Notion of Woman: A Study in the Fortunes of Scholasticism and Medical Science in European Intellectual Life (Cambridge, 1980), 42; Daniel Bornstein, “Spiritual Kinship and Domestic Devotions,” in Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, 176.

87. Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum 1487, lib. 1, q. 6, fol. 21r: “quia natura p[ro]pter fluxibilitate[m] co[m]plexionis facilioris sunt imp[re]ssionis ad revelat[i]o[n]es capiendas p[er] impressione[m] sep[ar]ator[um] spirituum q[ua] co[m]plexione etia[m] cu[m] bene utunt[ur] multu[m] bone sunt, cu[m] male peiores sunt.”

88. See for example Broedel, The ‘Malleus Maleficarum,’ 176.

89. Kramer, Sancte Romane ecclesie fidei defensionis clippeum (1501 ed.), fols. 10r, 18r–22v, 50r, 79v.

90. In 1480, Kramer conducted a trial against a group of pious laywomen in Augsburg, and denounced their devotional practices, which he associated with the doctrinal errors of the Hussites (on this trial see Segl, “Heinrich Institoris,” 109–113; Jerouschek and Behringer, “ ‘Das unheilvollste Buch der Weltliteratur?’,” 46–47).

91. Cf. Coakley, “Gender and the Authority of Friars,” 445–60; idem, “Friars as Confidants of Holy Women in Medieval Dominican Hagiography,” in Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe, ed. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Timea Szell (Ithaca, N.Y., and London, 1991), 222–46.

92. Cf. Bailey, Battling Demons, esp. 106–11.

93. Lyndal Roper recently noted the connection between witch-hunting and Marian devotion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven, Conn., and London, 2004), 136–38. On the chastity of female saints as the counter-image of the witches’ lust in early modern demonological writings see also Whitney, “The Witch ‘She’/ the Historian ‘He,’ “91–92; Brauner, Fearless Wives, 14.

94. See the title page of this pamphlet, Wunderbarlithe geschichte[n], die do geschehen synt von geystliche[n] wybs personen in disen Joren (n.p. [Strasburg?], 1502).

95. Cécile Dupeux, ed., La gravure d’illustration en Alsace au XVI siècle II: Georg Husner, Johann Prüss, Bartholomaüs Kistler, Wilhelm Schaffner, Mathias Hupfuff, Johann Schott, Johann Wähinger, Martin Flah, Johann Knobloch, 1501–1506 (Strasburg, 2000), 2:22 (my translation).

96. Cf. Zarri, Le sante vive, 117–19, 157, esp. n. 247.

97. Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner has suggested that the woodcut may actually depict three scenes in the Passion ecstasy of Stefana Quinzani, as described in the notarial document of February 1497 (personal communication). In this document, which is printed in Kramer’s Clippeum (see n. 56 above), Quinzani’s demonic temptations are mentioned, although there are no explicit references to the devil’s sexual assault on her.

98. Cf. Springer, “Dominican Inquisition in the Archdiocese of Mainz,” 345–51, 364, 392.

99. In his review of Walter Stephens’ Demon Lovers in the American Historical Review 108, no. 4 (October 2003): 1207, Wolfgang Behringer rightly called Kramer “a persecution specialist.” On the Dominican inquisitor’s lifelong persecutory career see also Jürgen Petersohn, “Konziliaristen und Hexen: Ein unbekannter Brief des Inquisitors Heinrich Institoris an Papst Sixtus IV. aus dem Jahre 1484,” Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 44 (1988): 120–60; Richard Kieckhefer, “The Office of Inquisition and Medieval Heresy: The Transition from Personal to Institutional Jurisdiction,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 46, no. 7 (January 1995): 46; Segl, “Heinrich Institoris,” 116; Behringer, “How Waldensians Became Witches,” 183.

100. See especially Kramer’s comparison of the sect of witches and the Bohemian “Waldensians” in his Sancte Romane ecclesie fidei defensionis clippeum (1501 ed.), fol. 89v (and cited in Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 70–71): “cur per has hereses duas iam novissimas sic atrociter diabolus ecclesiam infestat, patet responsio, quia enim cunctas alias hereses excedunt et in crudelitate quo ad maleficos hominibus, iumentis et terre frugibus supra modum nocentes, ut in opera sermonum contra heresim maleficarum deducitur; et heresies Waldensium excedit in pessimis demoniorum doctrinis, ut tactum est et successive in reprobacione eorum errorum deducetur. Ideo eciam, quia per amplius he hereses sibi deserviunt pre ceteris, eciam per eas ecclesiam persequitur [diabolus].”

101. Kramer’s first work (Epistola contra quendam conciliistam archiepiscopum videlicet Crainensem . . . [Schlettstadt, 1482]) attacked Archbishop Andreas Zanometic for his alleged Conciliarist views. After the completion of the Malleus in 1486, and before the publication of the Clippeum and the Stigmifere, Kramer composed three additional polemical works. The first two refuted various doctrinal errors concerning the sacrament of the eucharist (Tractatus novus de miraculoso eucaristie sacramento [Augsburg, 1493] and Tractatus varii cum sermonibus contra quattuor errors . . . [Nuremberg, 1495]), and the third condemned Antonio degli Rosselli’s objections to papal primacy as heretical (Opusculum in errores Monarchie [Venice, 1499]). On these works see Zika, “Hosts, Processions and Pilgrimages,” 27–28; Segl, “Heinrich Institoris,” 121–26, Stephens, Demon Lovers, 223–27, and Senner, “How Henricus Institoris Became Inquisitor for Germany,” 397.

102. Although Kramer’s antiwitchcraft tract had already enjoyed a considerable editorial success during his lifetime, most of the known editions of the Malleus were published after his death in 1505 (cf. Schnyder, Malleus Maleficarum. Kommentar, 452–53).

Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5111
Print ISSN
1556-8547
Pages
24-55
Launched on MUSE
2008-04-28
Open Access
No
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