Bern: Verlag der Dalp'ichen Buchhandlung [R. Schmid]. 1881. First Edition, First Printing. Original Wraps. First edition. Octavo, original printed wrappers. 410 pp. Text in German and printed in German Fraktur (Gothic Blackletter) throughout. Wear to wrappers, but complete; some splits to spine panel, old ownership name on title page. Overall, very good. A very rare book. Very Good. Item #311177
¶ On the Inquisition and the heresy trials of the Waldensians held in Freiburg in 1429 and 1430. The initial accusations against the Waldensians were for unorthodox heresy. The Waldensians, (or Vaudois) held many beliefs which were considered to be heresy under the Catholic church, not the least of which being that they rejected what they perceived as the idolatry of the Catholic Church and considered the Papacy as the Antichrist of Rome. The inquisitor at these trials was Ulric de Torrenté, who worked under the authority of the bishop of Lausanne. It was at the trials of the Waldensians at Freiburg in 1429 and 1430 that interrogations of suspected heretics produced confessions of Sorcery, and led to the belief in the "Witch's Sabbath" and the development of the idea of the diabolic witch.
One of the key demonological texts written during the 1430's was the anonymous ERRORES GAZARIORUM (The Errors of the Cathars), which was written within the circle of Lausannois clerics between 1431 and 1437. The author has been thought to be either Ulric de Torrenté or another in his circle. The ERRORES describes not the Cathars but a new sect of witches, conceived explicitly as a heretical, diabolic sect bound to the execution of harmful magic. The tract describes the witches gathering as a "synagogue" or "sabbath". A later version of the manuscript contains details from a witch trial that Ulric de Torrenté conducted in Vevey in 1438, also under the auspices of the bishop of Lausanne. These trials are well documented and are notable for the predominance of men among the accused. It was the heresy and witchcraft trials of this period trials which brought forth the origins of the idea of the traditional Witches Sabbath and the Diabolic Witch, and which led directly to Inquisition's witch trials of the later 1400's and 1500's in Europe. An important work, and a very rare book. There are no copies held in North American Libraries, and only 3 copies held in European Libraries.