Witchcraft in Venice


Last Monday we hired a babysitter and went to the talk about witchcraft in Venice at Treadwells.

The talk disappointed us by solely focusing on the witchcraft courtesans use. For example, up until World War II there was a large Jewish population in Venice and it is from Venice that the word “ghetto” comes from. We both would have been interested to hear about Jewish magic.

There was also (I don’t know if this is still being done) a marriage ritual performed yearly between Venice and the sea which was not mentioned.

It seems that the magic the Venetian courtesans performed is much like British magic, except with no familiars, but the courts were a lot more lenient. The accused would produce witnesses to her character and often got off the charge by playing the “I’m the poor illiterate woman whose lodger has left these books behind” card. The most that happened to one witch is that she was imprisoned for ten years. Her imprisonment involved having dinner with the Warden.

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