The Mallevs maleficarvm was produced to allow the clergy and the laity to understand and identify witches and their works. The text is split into three sections. The first section argues why witchcraft is real and how dangerous witchcraft can be to the community. The second section relates how witches operate and relates real cases of witches and witchcraft. The last section tells the reader how best to discover a witch and the legal measure that must be taken to prove that the person is in fact a witch. In all, the Mallevs maleficarvm acted as a handbook for the understanding and discovery of witches in Europe during this period.
The book has a limp vellum binding with yapp edges. Holes and the remains of leather ties are evident on both covers. A green morocco spine leather piece has the title stamped in gilt and is decorated with gilt fillets. The text has running titles; decorated initials, signatures, guide words, and tail-pieces. There is a printer’s device on the verso of the last page.
Mallevs maleficarvm. By Henricus Institoris (Heinrich Krämer) and Jakob Sprenger. Published by Nicolaum Bassaeum. Francofvrti ad Moenvm: 1580.
Mallevs maleficarvm is housed in the Rare Book Collection, located in the Special Collections, University Archives and Preservation department of the Glenn G. Bartle Library. Special Collections is open to the public 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Call number: BF 1569. A2 I4 1580. The Rare Book Collection.