chapter  9
22 Pages

Heretical Hussites: Oswald von Wolkenstein’s ‘Song of Hell’ (‘Durch Toren Weis’)

It is a case study that considers the connections between the act of reforming a local church and the act of hunting down presumed male and female witches in the same diocese. In this context, the significance of the Council of Basel has been stressed repeatedly. This was a place where numerous demonologists and inquisitors, among them the Dominican reformist friar and demonologist John Nider shared their mutual experiences and anxieties about witches and demons with their fellow clergy, even if this particular topic did not figure in the official agenda of this reforming council. In the final days of George's second witch-hunt, which took place in the diocese of Lausanne between 1458 and 1461, one Joan, wife of Peter Anyo from the parish of La Roche, situated in the present-day Swiss canton of Fribourg, stood trial for diabolical witchcraft in the castle of Ouchy, a regional stronghold of the bishops of Lausanne in the vicinity of the cathedral city.