Translated as The Hammer of Witches
Latin copy published in 1584
From the collection of the
Biblioteca Francisco de Burgoa,
Photographed at the Burgoa in May 2019
The Hammer of Witches, first published in 1487, was a bestseller in its time and continued to be for the two hundred years that followed. The book is a terrifying treatise on how to punish heretics, mostly women, who were accused of witchcraft. When Penelope Orozco, the curator of collections at the Biblioteca Francisco de Burgoa, showed us this book she whispered: poetic Justice.
But is it poetic justice? The larvae that nests in books are amoral: they are lifeforce craving to endure and even thrive. And yet, it is coincidences like this that help us think and envision what reading through wormholes can be.