chapter  I
46 Pages

OF THE PROFESSION OF WITCHCRAFT ; OF THE CONTRACT, AND OF THE FAMILIAR

" A soreerer is one who by commerce with the Devil has a full intention of attaining his own ends, and I give this definition because not only is it necessary for the full understanding of my book, but also because it explains and supplies the reason for the divers laws which in all Christian countries have been directed against sorcerers, and furthermore because no concise definition has hitherto been supplied by the many authorities who have written upon witchcraft, whilst at the same time it is essential that we should be quite clear and exact in regard to the use of our terms." With this sentence the erudite lawyer and politician, Jean Bodin, one of the most acute and liberal minds of his age, opens his famous treatise Demonomania, A Scourgefor Wizardr and Witches, which was first published at Paris in 1580, and in the opinion of not a few scholars is still distinguished as being the most copious and most closely-argued manual of its kind.