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History of Witchcraft

            Numerous written traces regarding witchcraft have been read through and analyzed by historians. As most of works done afterwards, we need to keep in full view the context in which witchcraft has evolved. Many cultural and social circumstances could provide answers, but some questions are still unsolved. In many ways, witchcraft and the reasons which led to persecutions remain a mystery. What we know for sure is that "80% of the victims were women". Why- while many trials were primarily focused on the events and disasters of daily life- women were the main target? Jennifer Ward in "women in medieval Europe", states that radical changes occurred after about the end of the middle-Ages. Because of social fictions and religious evolution, the number of accusations against women increased. Women began to be seen as Devil's worshippers, sharing the same physical features with him. One would know that every stereotypes lies in their application. This latter has reached a point of no return, leading to infamous "crimes". .
             This essay will attempt to show that women's accusations were fundamentally unreliable and depended on a socio-cultural and judicial context. It is interesting to point out that before being seen as victims, women have been seen as criminals. This paper will first consider the factors which led to new perceptions of women. It will examine the reasons why women were the recurring target of accusations. Secondly, it will focus on the violence afflicted on women, to finally question the reliability of the trials:.
             Over centuries, witches images endorsed many changes and strange transformations. During the 16 th and 17 th centuries, Europe moved from feudalism to capitalism. This transition was displayed through a questioning of the traditional roles. .
             Back in the Middle-Ages, women were considered as the pillars of society because they had control over life (by giving birth) and death (known to have awesome powers of healing and protection).

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