The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #27353   Message #336128
Posted By: mousethief
07-Nov-00 - 02:55 PM
Thread Name: BS: Paganism: an exploration
Subject: RE: BS: Paganism: an exploration
Actually witch-burnings were something the Christians learned from the Pagans.

From this website:

Witchcraft (maleficium) was indeed common in pre-Christian Europe, and it was an ancient pagan custom for those who believed maleficium was being used against them or their kin to take personal retaliation. Death by burning was thought to be a proper penalty and was practised by the German tribes who worshipped Odin, Thor and the other deities of the Teutonic pantheon (Cohn 1975:147-149). Similar practices were found in the "civilised" society of the Roman Empire (Williams 1959:305). "The pagan Romans, like most ancient peoples and modern tribal societies, prescribed the death penalty for those who killed or who harmed property by witchcraft: in a system which believes in magic and has capital punishment for normal murder and arson, there is no other logical situation" (Hutton 1991:255). The hunting and killing of suspected witches was thus an established pagan practice long before the coming of Christianity.