In an era when the church and its people actually believed in a universal infection of heresy and sorcery, they turned to this book for guidance. Daemonolatreiae, first published in France in 1595, was the leading witchcraft handbook of its day. In addition to defining the black arts and their practitioners--making it possible to "recognize" witches--it offered civil and religious authorities directives for persecution of the accused and punishment of the condemned.
This book amplified and updated Malleus Maleficarum, the 1486 opus that established trial procedures for charges of heresy and witchcraft. Its author, Nicolas Remy, was a notorious magistrate who boasted of having personally condemned and burned hundreds of witches. Remy's collection of notes, opinions, and court records features lurid details of satanic pacts and sexual perversity as well as the particulars of numerous trials. A work of tremendous historical significance, this volume is complemented by an introduction and notes by Montague Summers, a celebrated occult historian and expert on witchcraft and supernatural lore.