‘Twelve Thousand Circes’

  • Marina MontesanoEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)


The title of this chapter alludes to Giovanfrancesco Pico della Mirandola’s dialogue Strix, inspired by actual trials held in Modena in the early 1520s. The humanist author mentions the spread of witchcraft in his lands, and how it had produced thousands of imitators of ancient witches. But it is not only this dialogue which draws heavily on ancient, classical sources and relates them to contemporary witchcraft; indeed, this linking of learned and lay narratives will become a common feature of all the treatises on the dangers of the witchcraft phenomenon between the fifteenth and the early sixteenth centuries.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MessinaMessinaItaly

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