Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Lu Ann Homza

Committee Members

Giulia Pacini

Gérard Chouin


A witch-hunt in Spain's northern kingdom of Navarre that occurred between 1608 and 1612, and which was overseen by the Spanish Inquisition, was one of the most famous witch persecutions in European history. In the early nineteenth century, Napoleon's troops burned down the inquisition tribunal that handled this witch persecution, and modern scholars consequently believed that the witches' voices were lost to history. Those scholars did not realize that a number of the witches' statements survived Napoleon and are currently held in Madrid's National Historical Archive. The witches' declarations were made not only by adult men and women, but also by male and female children and teenagers. Their confessions were originally taken down by Spanish inquisitors and their employees between 1609 and early 1611, who went into the mountains of Navarre to find witch suspects and reconcile them to the Catholic church. When a different inquisitor went into the field in May 1611, however, the witch suspects returned to revoke their earlier admissions of belonging to the Devil's sect. My honors thesis examines the original confessions and later revocations made by young suspects in particular, in order to enhance our understanding of the legal, social, and emotional dynamics involved in witch-hunting in early modern Spain.

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