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Between the Living and the Dead

Posted 23 10 14

Between the Living and the Dead
by Éva Pócs


Between the Living and the Dead: A Perspective on Witches and Seers in the Early Modern Age is a study of the beliefs regarding witchcraft and magic in Early Modern Hungary written by the Hungarian historian Éva Pócs. First published in Hungarian in 1997 as Élők és holtak, látók és boszorkányok by Akadémiai Kiadó, it was later translated into English by Szilvia Rédey and Michael Webb and published by the Central European University Press in 1999.
Building on the work of earlier historians such as Carlo Ginzburg and Gabór Klaniczay, both of whom argued that Early Modern beliefs about magic and witchcraft were influenced by a substratum of shamanistic beliefs found in pockets across Europe, in Between the Living and the Dead, Pócs focuses in on Hungary, using the recorded witch trial texts as evidence to back up this theory.The reviews published in specialist academic journals were mixed, with many appluading the fact that information on Hungarian witchcraft was being brought to a wider English-speaking audience. Conversely, some reviewers claimed that Pócs' argument was largely unconvincing and lacked sufficient evidence to support it, with criticisms also being aimed at Pócs' writing style and the quality of the English translation.





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