Canal March

Witches: The Flight of Evil

María Tausiet

Mythical and persecuted, witches form part of the collective imagination of European folklore. Descending from Selene, Hecate and Artemis in the Greek tradition, they have been linked with stories relating to death and the devil. However, –as the historian María Tausiet explains– during the Middle Ages they would be associated with real women who would be hunted and tortured after being attributed with unimaginable misdeeds and related with heresy. The sceptical response from the inquisitor Alonso de Salazar y Frías to the witch hunt and the modern rationality of the Enlightenment would once again make witches more imaginative, as demonstrated in Moratín’s ironic texts and Goya’s paintings.

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