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The Source:

Josef Zukal:
"Magia posthuma auf der Herrschaft Groß-Herrlitz im 18. Jahrhunderte"
in: "Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kulturgeschichte Österreichisch-Schlesiens", Troppau, 1907/1908

The Case:

In 1729 Pfarrer Hermann Josef Wrtilek came to Groß-Herrlitz. This is what he writes:

"Gleich im ersten Jahre meiner Ankunft in Gr.-Herrlitz fand ich daselbst sowie auch in Klein-Herrlitz, Hermsdorf, Seitendorf und Zattig Pfarrlinge die der posthumen Zauberei (magia posthuma) verdächtig, auch schuldig waren, so daß nach Abhaltung vieler vom bischöflichen Amte angeordneten Kommissionen an dreßch derselben, Erwachsene und Kinder (tum adulti, tum innocentes) im Laufe einiger Jahre der weltlichen Behörde ausgeliefert und verbrannt worden sind."

which amounts to the following:

"Immediately in the first year of my arrival in Groß-Herrlitz, I found right there as well as in Klein-Herrlitz, Hermsdorf, Seitendorf and Zattig, parishioners who were suspected and found guilty of posthumous sorcery (magia posthuma) so that, after the Bishop had ordered many investigations, during a few years adults and children (tum adulti, tum innocentes) were handed over to the worldly authorities and burnt."

The Date:

We have been given the year of 1729 as the date of Father Wrtilek's arrival. But the cases are said to have taken place over a period of "some years".

The Place:

Hermsdorf appears to be one of the parishes of Groß-Herrlitz so it should be somewhere in this area between Bruntal and Troppau.

Possible Follow-Up:

You should get yourself a copy of Josef Zukal's short but interesting article which has much more information than you can find here.

© 2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed August 2012

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