Gottfried Christian Voigt

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Gottfried Christian Voigt (1740–1791) was an 18th-century German scholar, author of a 1791 "History of Quedlinburg Abbey" (Geschichte des Stifts Quedlinburg)

He is known as the source of the estimate of "nine million victims" in the European witch-hunts which became an influential popular myth in 20th century feminism and neopaganism. The history of this estimate was researched by Behringer (1998)[1]. Voigt published it in a 1784 article, writing in the context of the Age of Enlightenment, wishing to emphasize the importance of education in rooting out superstition and a relapse into the witch-craze which had subsided less than a lifetime ago in his day. He was criticizing Voltaire's estimate of "several hundred thousand" as too low.

References[edit]

  • Bailey, Michael David (2007). Magic and Superstition in Europe. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 236–238. ISBN 978-0-7425-3387-5. 
  • Behringer, Wolfgang. "Neun Millionen Hexen. Entstehung, Tradition und Kritik eines populären Mythos". Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht. Stuttgart: Klett. 49 (11): 664–685. ISSN 0016-9056. 
  • Herbert Pohl, Ein Blutige Catastrophen vnnd Ende. Osnabruecker Hexenprozesse im Spiegel fruehneuzeitlicher Publizistik, Nds. Jb. f. LG 62 (1990), 305-9.