Ronald Hutton on the Witch

"Witch-hunting has been found in every inhabited continent of the world": Ronald Hutton talks to Charlotte Hodgman about his new book examining the global figure of the witch – from ancient times to the present day...

Woodcut of a meal shared at a witches' Sabbath. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/Mansell/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the August 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine 

In context

The European witch trials of the early modern period did much to create an enduring perception of the figure of the witch. But these trials were influenced by global, ancient, medieval and folkloric traditions whose history has often been overlooked. Ronald Hutton’s book sets European witchcraft in an ancient and global context to revise our understanding of the witch around the world.

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