sabato 10 settembre 2016

Witches trial Peter T. Leeson Jacob W. Russ

Notebook per
Witches trial
Peter T. Leeson Jacob W. Russ
Citation (APA): Russ, P. T. L. J. W. (2014). Witches trial [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from

Parte introduttiva
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lotta x le quote di mercato lotta x il voto degli indecisi debolezza delle teorie alternative
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Witch Trials1 Peter T. Leeson
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We argue that these trials reflected non-price competition between Catholics and Protestants for market share in Christendom. Through witch trials competing Christian religions advertised their commitment
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Similar to the way in which contemporary politicians spend most of their campaign resources attempting to attract swing voters around election times in battleground states,
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Catholic and Protestant religion suppliers used witch trials to advertise the superiority of their respective brands.
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investigate our theory and compare its explanatory power to leading, existing theories for the geographic and temporal pattern of witch trials in Europe,
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covering more than 31,000 accused witches over a period of more than three and a half centuries for more than 20 countries in Europe.
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location of religious battles in Europe between 1400 and 1850.
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Nearly all witch-trial activity in medieval and early modern Europe is focused in religiously contested regions and occurs in years after the Reformation established Protestantism as a serious challenger to the Catholic Church
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caccia alle s.: nn il prodotto di ignoranza risposta razionale delle chiese ad una richiesta popolare test: cluster nelle zone con elettori indecisi analogia con la politica: dove spende obama? il 20% delle s erano uomini picco: germania meridionale italia settentrionale svizzera scozia chiesa unita => basa intensità del fenomeno: spagna italia meridionale portogallo irlanda nel paese concentrazione sui confini tempo: concentrazione nella riforma e controrifirma
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The period of the witch trials in Europe was an episode of history which spanned from the beginning of the 15th century until around the end of the 18th century.
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Witchcraft trials were an incredible injustice, but we argue here they were not the product of ignorance. ‘The Witch Hunts’ are often dismissed as an episode of mass hysteria,
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the killing of witches continues to this day in places like Papua New Guinea and Tanzania
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we aim to show in this paper the witchcraft trials in Europe were a form of non-price competition—a rational response by the churches given their institutional constraints and the changing marketplace conditions within Christendom
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A standard result of the political competition literature is that candidates’advertising expenditures in a given region should be proportional to the number of undecided voters in that
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Tried witches were by no means exclusively female, indeed there are examples such as Estonia where the majority of witches were male, but across Europe the historical evidence suggests that men comprised at most 20% of all tried individuals.
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expected correlation between the intensity of trial activity and religious competition. Our findings indicate witchcraft trials were most intense in regions which would have been considered religious ‘swing-states.’
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The witchcraft trials were heavily concentrated in the southern half of modern day Germany, Switzerland, eastern France, northern Italy and Scotland—areas known for their violent wars between rival Christian sects.
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In the regions where there was a strong, unified national church, such as Spain and southern Italy, they experienced relatively few trials (Gibbons 1998). Other countries which experienced few trials were Ireland and Portugal,
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The geography of the trial activity occurred not only at the country level, but within each country the trials tended to cluster near border regions.
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Basque region
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borders of eastern France,
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majority of trials occurred during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation periods,
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heresies of the 12th and 13th centuries in southern France and northern Italy.
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lacredenza esiste da sempre e anche oggo ma le xsecuzioni sono limitate nel tempo + che sulle cause ci si è concentrate sulla composizione delle vittime 1 teoria del capro: le condizioni ec erano pessime x il tempo atmosferico e serviva un capro. scarsa evidenza della relazione tra processi e meteo 2 ipotesi della montagna: i pagani scappavano sui monti e si concentravano lì 3 il capitalismo sposta la ricchezza indebolendo il legame chiesa re. la chiesa diventa + sensibile alla domanda popolare. ob: i processi precedono il 1520 4 legalizzazione della tortura ed effetto domino: salvarsi facendo nomi la tortura fu un progresso rispetto all ordalia... tant è che fu abbandonata x le confessioni inaffidabili e non x la sua crudeltà
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2. Three contending explanations
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This systematic approach to consulting primary and secondary sources drastically reduced modern witchcraft trial estimates to between 100,000 – 110,000 total persons accused, and between 40,000 – 60,000 executions
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Mostly these narratives tended to focus on the composition of the accused witch population, trying to explain why certain types of people were more likely to be the target
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Oster (2004) notes the witch trial literature tended to focus on small-scale explanations
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Oster’s paper added to the discussion of these large-scale effects, by offering a test of the ‘scapegoat hypothesis.’ Many historians claimed surprise harsh economic conditions, typically associated with colder-than-expected temperatures and the resulting food shortages, would cause an increase in the demand for initiating violence against witches, because witches were thought to control the weather.
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her data set was completely absent any witchcraft trials from Germany and contained records from only a few of the Swiss Cantons. These two countries accounted for an overwhelming majority of trial activity;
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The “mountains hypothesis” (Trevor-Roper 1967) is that social control by religious groups was harder in mountainous areas than plains regions which could sustain a feudal system. Pagans subject to persecution by the Christians fled to these mountains.
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The period of European witch trials was intertwined with the rise of capitalism, historically associated with the Calvinists from 1520-1620. As entrepreneurs of the time started to acquire wealth, these sources of revenue (taxes) weakened the tight financial relationship between the Catholic Church and sovereign rulers. According to this theory then, witch trials should be more prevalent in the areas where the intensity of capitalism was greatest,
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we add that Catholics were using witch trials and other forms of violence against religious competitors prior to 1520 and other Protestant groups were also known to be engaged in witchcraft trials, so the Calvinists should not be held completely responsible for the trial activity.
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The second theory attributable to Trevor-Roper12is a ‘legal torture’hypothesis –that in areas where torture was a legal punishment for regular crimes, torture was more likely to be used to elicit confessions of demonology.
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Closelyrelated to this theory is the ‘domino effect’ that was created when one accused witch served as a witness in the implication of other witches,
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Legal torture was initially conceived as an improvement to the legal procedure, because it aimed to achieve the material truth rationally, rather than by means of mystical intervention, as in ordeals.
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“In general, it seems clear that it was the growing disbelief in confessions produced by torture which brought torture into discredit”
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Looking at the data, the predictions of the legal torture theory show mixed results, as high trial areas such as Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland were known to widely use torturous practices, but torture was also used in low trial areas like Italy and Spain.
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la posizione ufficiale della chiesa: xicoli immaginari i competitori: catari e valdesi fino al 1500 poi protestanti processi di stregoneria: dal 1487
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3. Cathars and Waldenses: the early competitors
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witches were not widely tried as criminals for the practice of witchcraft, until after 1400. The official Church position on witchcraft, as late as 1140, was to denounce beliefs in witchcraft, because as articulated in canon episcopi, witchcraft was contained solely within the mind and was otherwise not a legitimate threat.
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These Christian-based sects stood in open defiance of Catholic doctrine, and were critical of the relatively wealthy organization, preaching apostolic poverty instead. Their message of poverty was modeled closely to the lifestyle of Christ
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The Catholic Church first responded to the Cathars with excommunication, issuing papal bulls which decreed heretics should be found and delivered to the secular authorities for punishment.
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Pope Innocent III resorted to force and declared crusades against the Languedoc region of France in 1208 (Oldenbourg 1962). Even though the Church had no army of its own and had to rely on volunteers
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Waldenses in Lyon,
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retreated to rural and mountainous areas,
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religious competitors from the market by 1300,
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Formal witchcraft trials do begin shortly after 1400, but the trial activity does not reach even moderate levels until after 1487 when the Malleus Malificarum, or “Hammer of Witches”is published in Germany by Henrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger.
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spiegazione economica: con catari e valdesi la violenza paga risposta alla domanda di povertà: francescani e domenicani gli ordini + impegnati nell inquisizione
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4. A simple economic framework
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When nonviolent forms of competition proved ineffective for the Church, they began to engage in a more costly, but also more effective, strategy of total annihilation under the guise of heresy.
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in the process of removing the Cathars and Waldenses from the market, the Church proactively responded by diversifying their salvation product line; likely because they anticipated the entry of future competitors willing to satisfy consumer demand for apostolic poverty.
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Dominican and Franciscan Orders,
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these new wings of the Catholic Church would be the ones who directly carried out the inquisitions
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In the aftermath of the success of the Reformation spreading Protestantism throughout continental Europe, Ekelund et al (2004) argue the Catholic Church once again mimicked typical firm behavior, with its reaction to Protestant entry. Modern firms frequently respond to competitive entry by reorganizing their corporate structure. Ekelund et al propose the Council of Trent
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pubblicità: informativa persuasiva complementare linformativa: la nuova formazione del clero messaggio: facciamo sul serio e le ns credenze sono reali credenti deboli... swing voters... bersaglio privilegiato deterrenza la domanda di processi era elevata la persecuzione era attività commendevole vittime: i meno produttivi... vecchie vagabondi pazzi vedove parallelo con i fuochi del 4 luglio problema: xchè nn competere solo sul prezzo? coca pepsi l oligopolio è la struttura di m che incentiva di + la pubblicità
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4.1 Witchcraft trials: advertising for the church-firm?
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create brand loyalty through the use of advertising. We argue not only did Catholic and Protestant churches do exactly that, but further that these churches used witchcraft trials to communicate branded messaging
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In response to the Protestant threat, the Catholic Church sought to raise awareness of its members to the benefits of its product. The Council of Trent issued decrees establishing lectureships in Scripture and the liberal arts (5th:I: 24-26), imposing duties of preaching and teaching on the clergy
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information about their product,
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In a market where the consumer choice is between competing brands of the meta-credence good, firms are likely to find brand persuasion or product complementarity as the more effective advertising
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Watching the burning of a witchwould be similar to watching modern day preachers perform ‘miracles’ during church services. Both displays attempt to communicate the message, celestial and satanic forces are real. And in the case of witchcraft trials, ecclesiastics are signaling a strong conviction in their religious beliefs,
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In all likelihood, conditional on a belief in witchcraft, the trials would have been seen as a commendable activity by the masses and elites alike. Which meant if a religion wanted to create a loyalty for their brand, or attract new converts, and increase their influence in a particular region, a natural strategy would be to create a public association between performing witchcraft trials and the desired religion’s brand.
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subject to these trials tended to be the elderly, socially vagrant, or mentally ill members of society.
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women and highly likely to be widowed.
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very low social status and close to no political power.
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like when city politicians promise to “clean up the city!”—
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As Ekelund et al (2002) argue, the Protestants did engage in direct price competition with the Catholic Church.
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oligopoly with a limited number of firms provides the greatest incentives for firms within a given industry to advertise.
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xchè i processi e nn la criciata? 1 potevano essere deventralizzati 2 era + flessibile consentendo di eliminare tutti i non conformi 3 la guerra costa specie a chi nn ha esercito 4 informazione e spettacolo insieme... il noi vs voi come nello sport... dimostrazoone di solidarietà con ist div anche le eresie sarebbero state combattute con l inquisizione
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4.2 Why chose witchcraft trials as the medium?
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There are several reasons to think witchcraft trials were a lower cost alternative to heresy trials and crusades. Heresy is a centralized process that requires high ranking church officials to define what exactly counts as heresy. Witchcraft accusations by contrast are decentralized; the local authorities could act directly
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the historian Christina Larner noted, “the advantage of witchcraft over the other crimes in this context is that it sums up all forms of non-conformity.
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The Church was a comparatively wealthy organization for its time, but it did not control a standing army of its own.
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Effective advertisements require the ability to capture attention, the creation of an emotional response
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a public spectacle.
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entertainment and information
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discussed in social circles
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form of social control
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‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality,
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rivalry between professional sports teams;
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demonstration of group solidarity.
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raised the cost of socially unacceptable behaviors,
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Further, as we show in the next section, the beginning of the extremely high trial activity period coincides with the Peace of Ausburg in 1555; after which, the Lutherans are an officially recognized part of Christendom.
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