Streghe e infanticide presso il Tribunale dell’Inquisizione di Cuenca (Spagna)

  • María Jesús Zamora Calvo Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Since the middle of the 16th century, in the triangle between Cuenca, Guadalajara and Alcalá de Henares in Spain, an obsession with witches was unleashed. This psychosis was driven largely by an increase in the number of deaths of babies who appeared suffocated and with bruises in their bodies. Society had to look for a culprit to blame for the pain caused and, who better than a witch to accuse her of infanticide? When ecclesiastical hierarchy itself recognized the existence of witches, there was a panic among the neighbors, giving rise to a high number of complaints about mature women, widows and of single women. Therefore in this article we wish to analyze the marginalization to which the Castilian women are subjected to at the end of the XVI c., when reaching a certain age, the fear that old age causes in society at this time and the mechanisms that it articulates to rid itself of these older people who hinder and disturb it.