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Showing posts from December, 2020

Alice Kyteler & Petronilla de Meath

  (Alice Kyteler Portrait) Alice Kyteler was the first Irish woman in recorded history to be accused of witchcraft, and one of the first victims in history to be accused of obtaining her "powers" through sexual intercourse with the Christian "Devil." In the year 1324, her fourth husband fell ill under mysterious circumstances. He personally suspected that something was amiss, and he expressed suspicion that his wife had poisoned him -- a suspicion that would carry over to his children (and the children of Alice's previous husbands). By the end of the ordeal that was Alice's trial, she would go missing -- never to be found -- and her closest associate would be brutally executed. Alice Kyteler was an interesting woman who appeared to live a life teetering between that of a wealthy citizen and a cunning criminal. She had been married four times, leaving a trail of dead husbands and suspicious step-children -- some of whom she'd taken to court to obtain her

Theoris of Lemnos

   (Pictured: Not Theoris) Theoris of Lemnos might not have been the very first person to be put on trial for witchcraft, but her story is the first  recorded  witchcraft trial (and execution) in human history. Residing in Athens, Greece around the year 320 b.c.e., Theoris was a known witch and fortuneteller who specialized in potions. Historic literature about this classical-era witch is sparse, but what is known about her is that at some point before 323 b.c.e., she was put on trial for a variety of offenses -- and then executed. The glossy, summarized story is that she was tried for witchcraft, but like most victims of witch hunts and associated trials, her story is far more complicated than that. Theoris was mentioned in approximately three ancient documents, with at least one of which confirming that she healed with potions and incantations. Of the very few historical documents that mention her, it can be gathered that a scandal took place involving her use of these magical elemen