Daemonologie


Daemonologie—or to give its full title,  Daemonologie, In Forme of a Dialogue, Divided into three Books: By the High and Mighty Prince, James VI.

First published in 1597 by King James VI of Scotland (later also James I of England) as a philosophical essay on contemporary necromancy and the historical relationships between the various methods of divination used from ancient black magic. It was reprinted again in 1603 when James took the throne of England. The widespread consensus is that King James wrote Daemonologie in response to sceptical publications such as Reginald Scot’s The Discoverie of Witchcraft.

This included a study on demonology and the methods demons used to bother troubled men. It also touches on topics such as werewolves and vampires. It was a political yet theological statement to educate a misinformed populace on the history, practices and implications of sorcery and the reasons for persecuting a witch in a Christian society under the rule of canonical law.

This book is believed to be one of the main sources used by William Shakespeare in the production of Macbeth. Shakespeare attributed many quotes and rituals found within the book directly to the Weird Sisters, yet also attributed the Scottish themes and settings referenced from the trials in which King James was involved.


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