Nicholas Jacquier’s Flagellum haereticorum fascinariorum, along with other works of the fifteenth century, attacks the canon Episcopi and its denial of witches’ flight. It argues that the sect of witches (or fascinarii) is new and unlike the women mentioned in the canon: they are conscious and awake while participating in “synagogues”; they have direct bodily communication with demons; faithful witness report on these meetings, giving dates and other signs of trustworthiness; and the fascinarii worship demons. Jacquier undermines the source of the canon, the Council of Ancyra: it was a local and not universal council, and it makes theologically problematic claims. Jacquier draws on contemporary reform of women’s piety of inwardness. He shows particular concern with the trampling of consecrated hosts, a deeply charged symbolic act.


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pp. 183-211
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