Appendix 64 - Malleus

by Michael Greger, MD and United Progressive Alumni

[ Medical School Resources | Appendices | Discussion ]

No one does more harm than midwives - Malleus Maleficarium (Hammer of Witches)

The Malleus was the authority on mass terror and persecution for 300 years. It all started in 1484 with a declaration from Pope Innocent VIII. One medieval scholar estimates that more than one million midwives and healers were executed.

The Burning Times lasted well into the "Age of Reason." From a book published by Feminist Press: "While Michelangelo was sculpting and Shakespeare writing, witches were burning.... Renaissance men were celebrating naked female beauty in their art, while women's bodies were being tortured and burned by the hundreds of thousands all around them."[754] The derogatory use of "faggot" stems from this time when homosexual men were, "bound and placed at the foot of witch pyres, their bodies used to kindle the flames."[755]

If a woman dare to cure... she is a witch and must die - Malleus Maleficarium

From the Malleus:

Let her be often and frequently exposed to torture... If after being fittingly tortured [with everything from priest blessed eye gougers to 'the pear,' a metal scissor-like device inserted red hot into body orifices and spread open] she refused to confess the truth, he should have other engines of torture brought before her and tell her she will have to endure these if she does not confess.

Midwives cause the greatest damage, either killing children or sacreligiously offering them to devils.... The greatest injury to the Faith are done by midwives, and this is made clearer than daylight itself by the confessions of some who were afterwards burned....



[754] Ehrenreich, B. Witches, Midwives, & Nurses: A History of Women Healers New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 1973:309.

[755] Robbins, J. Reclaiming Our Health Tiburon, CA: HJ Kramer, 1996:61.



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