Monstrous Women: Hair, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Modern German Prints

Keywords: Witches, body hair, wild woman, werewolves, sexuality

The concept of shape-shifting and representations of human-animal hybrids in both literary sources and the visual arts captured the early modern European imagination. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the prevalence of pictorial prints featuring these creatures dated in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, produced in the regions of Germany, around the time of the European witch-hunts and Protestant Reformation. These monstrous hybrid creatures were predominately male, exhibiting the animalistic nature of man within. Man feared breaking the boundaries between humans and animals as they began to see their physical resemblance and shared behaviours with other species in what was viewed as degeneration of society at a time of moral reform. The image of the female monster was relatively absent in German Renaissance prints, in the same way that women were often suppressed and occluded from patriarchal society. They were also already partly regarded as sub-human and closer to animals than man. While thick body hair turned men into monsters, long locks or body hair on women merely revealed their natural state of depravity and monstrosity.[i]

Anyone who was thought to possess animal characteristics were a monstrosity, as only humans possessed a soul and were capable of salvation. In this way, the female body was a monstrosity and made her ‘Other’ in the patriarchal society of the early modern period, which was a view that extended back to antiquity. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) viewed women as imperfect men, (or less developed humans) a view that still held sway during the Renaissance.[ii] Theorists continued to debate whether women were indeed human during this period. One work by Clive Hart published in Germany in 1595 argued that women were not human.[iii] This sentiment was further espoused in the witch-hunting manual, Malleus Maleficarum (1486), which helped bring about a clear definition of the ‘female’ witch during the sixteenth century. It did this by stating that a woman’s defects derived from her original shaping, formed from the curved rib of man that is ‘twisted and contrary’ in a way that made her into an ‘imperfect animal’.[iv] Depictions of hairy females revealed the true depravity of women, from the transcendence of gender boundaries to susceptibility to carnal lust, which served as a warning as well as offered the possibility of redemption.

Masculine qualities attributed to women illustrated their monstrous status as imperfect men in early modern Europe. This view lasted throughout the seventeenth century, amid the Scientific Revolution, as evidenced by the English natural philosopher John Bulwer, who wrote: ‘Women is by nature smooth and delicate; and if she have many hairs she is a monster’.[v] The monstrosity of hairy women stemmed from a medieval tradition in which evil was purported to reveal itself as a physical manifestation.[vi] Imperfection and ‘Otherness’ was also often taken to reflect moral degradation.[vii] Saint Jerome (c.347-420), for example, associated excessive hairiness with demons by inserting the term pilosi, meaning ‘hairy ones’ in his translation of the Bible from Hebrew into Latin when describing demons who suffered the wrath of God in Isaiah 13.21.[viii] The relationship between hairiness and the demonic came to be embedded in the social fabric and visual culture of the German Renaissance.

It was also imperative to the Church that women and men were distinct from one another. Even wearing clothes that were designed for the opposite gender was considered an abomination under God (Deuteronomy 22.5).[ix] In this way, a woman showing an abnormal amount of hair threatened gender boundaries. Western women during the early modern period frequently removed their body hair, influenced by the new preference of men who returned from the Crusades during the Middle Ages. It is presumed that the Crusaders enjoyed the local women who would remove their body hair, a practice that was also reinforced by the demonic association between women and hairiness.[x]

The extent of belief in the power of women’s hair was revealed in De Secretis Mulierum (‘Women’s Secrets’), which was believed to have been written by Albertus Magnus (1193-1280). Magnus stated that women’s hair became venomous during her menstruation, like the serpent-haired Medusa.[xi] The removal of female body hair, which continued into the sixteenth century, was thought to cleanse the body of its toxins.[xii] This preference was frequently depicted on the hairless bodies of female reclining nudes during the Renaissance. These classically-inspired works of art were influenced by the hairless statues from antiquity, where removing body hair was also routine in ancient Greece and Rome.[xiii] Omitting body hair from women in art presented an idealised model of the female body, where body hair emphasised their animality.[xiv] The obsession with controlling feminine body hair continues to be ever present today.[xv]

Hirsute Women

A few examples exist of female monsters during Renaissance. The hirsute Gorgades, were included in The Nuremberg Chronicle (Weltchronik) (1493) written by Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) (fig. 1 ).[xvi] Pliny (23 A.D.-79 A.D.) is an earlier source who had written about the Gorgades, a hairy race of women who lived on the Gorgades Islands.[xvii] The hairy Gorgades were related to the Gorgons – the snake-haired women who turned those who looked at them into stone, like Medusa as told in Ovid’s famous and influential Metamorphoses (c.43 B.C.- 18 A.D.).[xviii] The Gorgades in the Nuremberg Chronicle are depicted in similar physical form as the mythological wild woman – along with her companion, the wild man – who were thought to have inhabited the Germanic alpine and forested regions of Europe.[xix] The Gorgades had long hair covering their entire body with bare knees, a sign that they crawl on all fours like animals.

Fig. 1. Michael Wolgemut (1434-1519) and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff (c.1420-1472), ‘Marvelous Races’, in
Hartmann Schedel, Das Buch der Croniken und Geschichten. Translated by Georg Alt, Nuremberg : Anton Koberger, 1493, fol. XIIv,
Woodcut, each frame approximately 5.7 x 5.7cm,
Munich, Bayerische StaatsBibliothek

Not all hairy women were classed as a foreign monstrous race. The thirteenth-century Bavarian epic poem, republished in a sixteenth-century German collection of stories, Das Heldenbuch mit synen figuren (‘The Book of Heroes’), recounts a hairy wild woman called Raue Else (‘Rough Else’) (fig. 2).[xx] The woman who was hairy all over and walked on all fours approached the knight, Wolfdietrich, who questioned whether she was an animal.[xxi] The wild woman demanded the love of the knight and upon his refusal turned him into a crazed wild man who crawled on all fours for half a year until God commanded her to disenchant him. In return, Wolfdietrich offered to marry the wild woman so long as she was baptised. She took him back to her kingdom at Troy and after bathing in the fountain of youth, she was transformed into her former self, the beautiful princess, Sigeminne (‘Love’s victory’).[xxii] The representation of wild women, as with the tale of Raue Else, follow the common theme of female entrapment carried down from Eve as well as the civilising power of faith in the Christian God.[xxiii] The tale also illustrates the connection between hairiness and sexuality as the hairy wild woman places sexual demands on the knight. The Dutch physician, Levinus Lemnius (1505-1568), made the connection between the hairier the woman and the more sexually lecherous she was.[xxiv] This view continued into the nineteenth century with studies on the hairiness of prostitutes. However, more recently, increased androgens responsible for the male distribution of hair has been linked with increased sexual desire in women.[xxv]

Fig. 2. Anonymous, Das Heldenbuch mit synen figuren,
Hagenaw: Heinrich Gran, 1509.

Wild women also shared a love of combat as the wild man and were even depicted jousting against one another. The alpine wild woman was reportedly just as powerful and violent as her male counterpart.[xxvi] In Wild Couple Jousting by Master ES (c.1430-1467/68) (fig. 3 ), the wild woman is depicted holding a distaff instead of the typical lance, which was a symbol for ordinary women who used it for spinning wool, while the wild man holds onto a rake. These items signify their gendered, domestic roles. The animals they ride on instead of horses further attest to their social roles. The wild woman rides a deer associated with faithfulness, while the unicorn on which the wild man rides was used to symbolise their strength to overpower the mighty beast.[xxvii] Unicorns were originally regarded as ferocious and used their horn as a weapon.[xxviii]

Fig. 3. Master ES, Wild Couple Jousting, c. 1450-1467,
Engraving, 7.1 x 8.5 cm,
London, British Museum.

While the distaff and spinning wool illustrated virtuous women’s work, the distaff, was also a symbol that challenged acceptable feminine roles as the wild woman used it against her male companion.[xxix] The object played a role in satires of domineering women, who used it to beat their husbands.[xxx] The theme of a domineering woman reflected the fear of being overpowered or cuckolded by a woman, particularly in marriage.[xxxi] The greater physical strength of man generally made a woman’s natural place as passive and subservient to men. Thus, this print of a hairy wild woman challenging a man would have been seen as transgressing accepted gender roles and made her more monstrous than she had already been deemed to be.[xxxii] The Renaissance was a time when songs and broadsheets advocated the beating of women who showed too much independence.[xxxiii] The lyrics of a sixteenth-century German song, for example, reads: ‘Hit they wife on the head/With cudgels smear her daily…With a strong hazel rod/Strike her head till it turns round/And kick her in the gut/With blows be ever zealous/Yet see thou don’t her kill’.[xxxiv]


Many of the medieval attributes of the wild woman became associated with the idea of the witch during the Renaissance from their transformative powers, sagging breasts, aged wrinkled face and rumours of them eating small children.[xxxv] Although most images of witches did not show facial or body hair, they were frequently depicted with long free-flowing hair like wild women, which was a sign of their uncontrollable sexual appetite.[xxxvi] Long hair was a sign of their demonic power, used to tempt men, thereby connecting their feminine hair with sexuality and sin.[xxxvii] Female nudity and free-flowing hair were often enough to signify that the woman was evil and unchaste as demonstrated in many depictions of witches.[xxxviii]

The significance of long hair within early modern Christian society stemmed from Jewish Law. In biblical times, free-flowing hair was an offense and respectable women were required to cover their hair, a practice that continues among Orthodox Jewish communities today.[xlvii] This practice that dates back to Ancient Assyria and was adopted in Ancient Greece, became tied to Original Sin, where Eve’s temptation and sin are shared by all women, who should veil themselves out of sight.[xlviii] This sentiment was carried into the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 11.5, which states: ‘every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head’. Not only did this practice rendered women as lower than man who were not required to cover their heads before God, but also signified their ownership in the sense that her hair was contained and so was her sexuality.[xlix] The idea that honourable women should veil themselves before the eyes of God resulted in the practice by women to tie their hair up, or cover it with a hat or kerchief in Renaissance Germany. The practice of honourable women covering their hair is paralleled with prostitutes who were forbidden to cover their hair to disguise their dishonour.[l]

The distaff also became associated with witches in Northern Renaissance art as was women riding naked on animals.[xxxix] The print of the jousting wild couple can be paralleled with the later image by Albrecht Dürer of The Witch Riding backwards on a Goat, c. 1500-1501 (fig. 4 ). However, in Dürer’s print, a negative reading can be more easily discerned, especially for a contemporary audience. The witch riding backwards on a goat symbolised social disorder as the old woman was shown to invert acceptable gender roles by undertaking the male pursuit of riding.[xl] This is another take on the upside-down theme that was popular during this period, an intention that is evident from the reversal of Dürer’s monogram.[xli] The woman again holds onto a distaff, but is holding it suggestively between her legs like a phallus.[xlii] The distaff was associated with sexual misbehaviour during the German Renaissance for its phallic shape and ‘spinning’ was used as a metaphor for sexual intercourse.[xliii] The association of the witch with nudity and goat riding, a symbol for lust, was modelled after Aphrodite Pandemos, the goddess of lust. This motif underscores the sexually suggestive nature in the way she holds the distaff and goat’s horn.[xliv] The witch holding onto the horn further references the practice of cuckolded husbands who had lost their honour by losing control of their wives and were made to wear goat horns to signify their folly.[xlv] The fear of emasculation was particularly evident with the belief that witchcraft was the cause of male impotence.[xlvi] For this reason, the nude wild woman riding a deer while holding a distaff also challenged accepted gender roles.

Fig. 4. Albrecht Dürer, The Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat, c. 1500-1501,
Engraving, 11.5 x 7.0 cm,
The British Museum

St. Peter thought that women who showed off their long locks led men to fornication. He believed that it awarded them a special place in Hell where they would be tied up by their hair, a sign that unbridled sexuality had led to their downfall.[li] Judges of witch trials also recommended that witches have their hair shaved off to disarm their power. Hair was also thought to hide the mark of the Devil.[lii] Shaving the head of a witch disarmed her main source of power, which was her sexuality, in the same way that adulteresses and sometimes prostitutes were also forced to have their hair shaved.[liii] The Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger not only recommend this practice in  Germany, but noted that other countries ordered hair removal from the entire body.[liv] The connection between a woman’s hair, sexuality and power was so great that whenever a woman was depicted with her hair shaved, being tied up, grabbed or dragged by her hair, her punishment would have been read as a result of her sexual misbehaviour.[lvi]

The sixteenth century, particularly in German territories, saw the most witch trials in Europe [lvii] People accused of witchcraft were predominately the most marginalised members of society. As a result, they were most likely to be old, poor, and female.[lviii] It was only at the height of mass panics that young women, men, people of high station, and even children became accused, but otherwise the stereotype of the old female witch prevailed.[lix] The witch was a monstrosity in female form. Of the hundreds and thousands of witches killed, it has been estimated that between 75 and 90 percent were female.[lx] Anne Barstow argues that it is more than old women’s social marginalised status as widow and a burden on society that made her more susceptible to witch accusations.

Barstow made the connection between the idea of the sexuality of older women and less than ideal body. It was believed that postmenopausal, widowed women had greater sexual drive than their youthful counterparts. This assumption reflected the idea that the widow was no longer under control of her late husband. For centuries, it was the custom in Europe for only available women to leave their hair uncovered, such as young unmarried women or widowed women. As a widowed woman was no longer under subordination of her husband, her sexuality was no longer in control.[lxi] This idea was especially repugnant as it did not derive from the more respectable utilitarian need to procreate as it was for younger, fertile women.[lxii] The purported unbridled sexuality of the witch further informed her depiction in German Renaissance art, focusing on her nude female form.[lxiii] The image of a voluptuous young witch, a symbol of her sexuality and fertility and thus her power as temptress was often juxtaposed against a dried-up old hag with sagging breasts and aged wrinkled face.[lxiv] This juxtaposition of the nude body derived from the Renaissance reverence for the beauty of the naked form and the prudery from the Middle Ages where nudity symbolised the dangers of sexual appetite.[lxv]


The belief in the transformative powers of witchcraft also reignited werewolf folklore as evidenced by the numerous publications on witchcraft and demonology, which debated the existence of werewolves and the power of metamorphosis in early modern Europe.[lxvi] The witch craze sparked trials and accusations against witches who were suspected of committing murder while transformed into a wolf across Europe.[lxvii] Similarly, accusations against werewolves also often targeted socially marginalised members of society.[lxviii] Despite the stereotype of the old hag, as previously mentioned, it was the minority male witch that was often concurrently charged with transforming into a wolf.[lxix] This is also in spite the fact that there has been recent scholarship focusing on the female werewolf.[lxx] The werewolf’s hairy and ferocious image as a canine beast that tears up human flesh presented a hyper-masculine figure.[lxxi]

An exception to the male werewolf was presented in a broadsheet by Georg Kress (fig. 5 ), which depicts women transcending their natural gender boundaries in the same way witches were often accused of. The print illustrates multiple unfolding scenes of a pact made by women in the territory of Jülich with the Devil, their transformation into wolves, their destruction of the town and its citizens, and lastly their execution. The werewolves are depicted in various states of transformation, including human attire and standing on bipedal legs to illustrate that these are no ordinary wolves. In the first instance in the bottom left-hand corner, a group of women surround a cloaked man with a hint of horns protruding from his head. The man is handing out belts that were likely made from wolf hide, which were believed to aid transformation. This description concurs with the text on the broadsheet that states that more than 300 women accepted the belts and pledged their obedience to the Devil dressed as a patrician.[lxxii] In a second scene just above, the man now reveals his true self and looks more Devil-like with obvious horns and long pointed ears alongside the semi-morphed werewolves. The surrounding scene illustrates the destruction the werewolves caused by massacring the villagers and their livestock. The broadsheet reported their confession of only killing men and boys along with their horses and oxen, eating their hearts and sucking out their brains.

Fig. 5. Georg Kress, The Three Hundred women in the territory of Jülich who Made a Pact with the Devil, Transformed themselves into Wolves, Killed Men, Children and Cattle and how Eighty-five Were executed on 6 May 1591 at Ostmilich near Jülich, Augsburg, 1591,
Single-leaf woodcut broadsheet.
Source: Deutsche Einblattholzschnitte: 1500 bis 1700 (CD ROM), Directmedia Publishing GmbH, 2008, ISBN / ISSN:3932544692.

In the centre of the composition, the women are seen burning at the stake. The broadsheet reports that 85 of them were punished by fire on 6 May 1591 at Ostmilich, two miles from Jülich. The broadsheet admittedly served as a warning to women against the evils of sorcery and the inevitable punishment on Earth and in the afterlife. The women are depicted as modest and highly fashioned ladies, thereby showing that any woman could succumb to the temptation of the Devil. This broadsheet also illustrates the shift in the representation of witches as peasant ignorant ‘rustics’ to an organised conspiracy, particularly towards men who were the main victims. This belief is further reflected in mass executions of witches in Germany from 1580.[lxxiii]

It also demonstrated fear of the power of women’s sexuality, which has been argued by Kramer and Sprenger that women’s sexuality made her more prone to witchcraft and whose obedience to the Devil included ‘a relationship with him alone’, as stated on the broadsheet.[lxxiv] The concept of the female witch was partly the product of the belief in woman’s excessive carnal lust. Witches were believed to be affiliated with fornication and orgies with the Devil or other demons, which made them more susceptible to falling prey to his influence.[lxxv] It was believed that the pact with the Devil was sealed with intercourse.[lxxvi] As the Devil also often appeared to be an animal hybrid, the sin of intercourse with the Devil or other demons was also associated with bestiality.[lxxvii] Therefore, women’s sexuality was connected to demonic acts and thus added to apocalyptic notions.[lxxviii]


Female hairiness on the body and long locks were both symbols of women’s degenerate nature, where she was regarded as closer to animals and subject to their primitive sexual urges. This manifestation of female monstrosity was a form of transcending ‘natural’ gender boundaries. This article also highlights that female hair was intrinsically linked to both feminine beauty, but also the male temptation to lust. This resulted in projecting the sin of man onto women who must veil themselves and their hair. In consequence, women transcending gender boundaries also reflected the fear of emasculation. In the age of the apocalypse, the motif of women’s hair provided a reminder of Original Sin and the need for repentance at a time of social reform.

Modified from Dana Rehn’s conference talk: ‘Monsters, Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern German Prints,’ Gendered Perspectives – 1st Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Gender/Women’s Studies Conference, June 18-19, 2014, Flinders University.

[i] Roberta Milliken, Ambiguous Locks: An Iconology of Hair in Medieval Art and Literature, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2012, p. 141.

[ii] Women were a ‘deformity, but on which occurs in the ordinary course of nature’.  Aristotle, Generation of Animals, trans. A. L. Peck, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1943, p. 460 (Book IV, vi). Merry Wiesner-Hanks, The Marvelous Hairy Girls: The Gonzales Sisters and their Worlds, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 45-6, 10. This feminist interpretation of Aristotle is a point of contention. For further discussion on Aristotle’s view on the generation of the sexes see, Aryeh Kosman, ‘Male and Female in Aristotle’s Generation of Animals’, in James G. Lennox and Robert Bolton (eds.), Being, Nature and Life in Aristotle: Essays in Honor of Allan Gotthelf, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 147-168.

[iii] Wiesner-Hanks, 2009, p. 177.  See Clive Hart, Treatise on the question do women have souls and are they human beings? Disputatio Nova: with translation, commentary, and appendices, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2004.

[iv] Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, The Hammer of Witches: A Complete Translation of the Malleus Maleficarum, trans. Christopher S. Mackay, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 165 ( Part 1, 42B) .

[v] John Bulwer, Anthropometamorphosis, London: William Hunt, 1654, p. 215.

[vi] Laura Ward and Will Steeds, Demons: Visions of Evil in Art, London: Carlton, 2007, p. 9.

[vii] Ward and Steeds, 2007, p. 91.

[viii] Timothy Husband, The Wild Man: Medieval Myth and Symbolism, exh. cat., New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980, p. 11.

[ix] Milliken, 2012, p. 36.

[x] Penny Jolly, ‘Publics and Privates: Body Hair in Late Medieval Art’, in Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art, ed. Sherry C. M. Lindquist, Farnham: Ashgate, 2012, p. 190.

[xi] Helen Rodnite Lemay ed., Women’s Secrets: A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’ De Secretis Mulierum with Commentaries, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992, 96.

[xii] Jolly, 2012, p. 190.

[xiii] Wendy Cooper, Hair: Sex, Society, Symbolism, London: Aldus Books, 1971, p. 84.

[xiv] Cooper, 1971, p. 86.

[xv] For further discussion on contemporary female body hair see Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, ‘The Last Taboo: Women, Body Hair and Feminism’, in Karin Lesnik-Oberstein (ed.), The Last Taboo: Women and Body Hair, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006, pp. 1-18.

[xvi] Dana Oswald, ‘Unnatural Women, Invisible Mothers: Monstrous Female Bodies in the Wonders of the East’, Different Visions: A Journal of New Perspectives on Medieval Art, 2, 2010, p. 7; Hartmann Schedel, Liber chronicarum, Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1493.

[xvii] John Block Friedman, The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1981, p. 15.

[xviii] Pliny, The History of the World commonly called The Natural History of C. Plinius Secundus or Piny, ed. Paul Turner, trans. Philemon Holland, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962, pp. 67-68 (Book VI); Milliken, 2012, p. 46. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Rolfe Humphries, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013, pp. 106, 114. The beautiful Medusa turned her hair into snakes after being raped by Neptune.

[xix] Jennifer Spinks, Monstrous Births and Visual Culture in the Sixteenth-Century Germany, London: Brookfield, Vt: Pickering & Chatto, 2009, p. 18; Husband, 1980, p. 2.

[xx] Anonymous, Das Heldenbuch mit synen figuren, Hagenaw: Heinrich Gran, 1509.

[xxi] Husband, 1980, p. 62; Wiesner-Hanks, 2009, p. 42.

[xxii] Husband, 1980, p. 64; Roger Bartra, Wild Men in the Looking Glass: The Mythic Origins of European Otherness, trans. Carl T. Berrisford, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1994, p. 101; Richard Bernheimer, Wild Men in the Middle Ages: A Study in Art, Sentiment, and Demonology, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952, p. 37.

[xxiii] Lynn Frier Kaufmann, The Nobel Savage: Satyrs and Satyr Families in Renaissance Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1984, pp. 33-34.

[xxiv] Jolly, 2012, p. 186. Levinus Lemnius, The Touchstone of Complexions, trans. Thomas Newton, London, 1576, p. 42. ‘such women as be greatlye destrous of carnall lust and copulacion, be verye roughe and thick growenr with hayre thereabout, and the more lecherous, the more h ayrie and fruictfull’.

[xxv] Cooper, 1971, p. 78.

[xxvi] Bernheimer, 1952, p. 33; Husband, 5; Michelle Moseley-Christian, ‘From Page to Print: The Transformation of the “Wild Woman” in Early Modern Northern Engravings’, Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry, vol. 27, no. 4, 2012, p.  429.

[xxvii] Christa Grössinger, Picturing Women in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997, p. 81; Bernheimer, 1952, p. 135.

[xxviii] Anne Clark, Beasts and Bawdy, London: Dent, 1975, p. 46

[xxix] Alison G. Stewart, ‘Distaffs and Spindles: Sexual Misbehavior in Sebald Beham’s Spinning Bee’, in Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Gender and Northern Art in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Jane L. Carroll and Alison G. Stewart, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003, p. 138.

[xxx] See for example Israhel van Meckenem, The Jealous Wife (c. 1495-1503, engraving, 16.7 x 11.1 cm, Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art), illustrated in Husband, 1980, p. 141.

[xxxi] Grössinger, 1997, p. 121.

[xxxii] Milliken, 2012, pp. 16, 18-19.

[xxxiii] See for example Barthel Beham, Ehelicher Zwist (‘Marital Discord’), c.1530, illustrated in Katja Altpeter-Jones, ‘Inscribing Gender on the Early Modern Body: Marital Violence in German Texts of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 3, 2008, p. 31.

[xxxiv] Quoted and translated in Joy Wiltenburg, Disorderly Women and Female Power in the Street Literature of Early Modern England and Germany, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992, pp. 120-21.

[xxxv] Bartra, 1994, p. 102.

[xxxvi] Charles Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft: Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe, London: Routledge, 2007, p. 84; Wiesner-Hanks, 2009, 42-45.

[xxxvii] Else E. Friesen, “Saints as Helpers in Dying: The Hairy Holy Women Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt, and Wilgefortist in the Iconography of the Late Middle Ages,” in E.E. DuBruck and B.I. Gusick, Death and Dying in the Middle Ages, New York: Peter Lang, 1999,   240; Miliken, 2012, 148.

[xxxviii] Milliken, 2012, p. 144.

[xxxix] Grössinger, 1997, p. 81.

[xl] Natalie Kwan, ‘Woodcuts and Witches: Ulrich Molitor’s De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, 1489-1669’, German History, 30, no. 4, 2012, p. 509

[xli] Charles Zika, ‘Durer’s Witch, Riding Women and Moral Order’, in Dürer and his Culture, ed. Dagmar Eichberger and Charles Zika, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 120.

[xlii] Linda C. Hults, The Witch as Muse: Art, Gender, and Power in Early Modern Europe, Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005, p. 74.

[xliii] Stewart, 2003, pp. 130, 137. See for example Sebald Beham, Spinning Bee (c. 1524, woodcut, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford), illustrated in Stewart, 2003, p. 128.

[xliv] Zika, 1998, pp. 120, 124.

[xlv] Zika, 2007, p. 29. 

[xlvi] Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum, trans. Montague Summers, London: Arrow Books, 1971, p. 56.

[xlvii] Friesen, 1999, p. 241.

[xlviii] Elisabeth Meier Tetlow, Women, Crime and Punishment in Ancient Law and Society: Volume 1: The Ancient Near East, New York: Continuum, 2004, p. 130; Mirille M. Lee, Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 155-57; Milliken, 2012, p. 57.

[xlix] Milliken, 2012, p. 55.

[l] Wiesner-Hanks, 2009, 42-45.

[li] St. Peter’s Apocalypse in Eileen Gardiner ed., Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante, New York: Italica Press, 1989, p.  6.

[lii] Milliken, 2012, pp. 137, 158. As a symbol of its power, hair was also thought to be a main ingredient in potions.

[liii] Milliken, 2012, pp. 140, 154, 155.

[liv] Kramer and Sprenger, 2009, 229-230; Cooper, 1971, p. 197.

[lv] Cooper, 1971, p. 197.

[lvi] Milliken, 2012, p. 150. 

[lvii] Hans Peter Broedel, The Malleus Maleficarum and the Construction of Witchcraft, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004, p. 8; Sigrid Brauner, Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews: The Construction of the Witch in Early Modern Germany, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001, p. 5.

[lviii] Michael D. Bailey, Fearful Spirits, Reasoned Follies: The Boundaries of Superstition in Late Medieval Europe, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2013, p. 150.

[lix] Jon Oplinger, The Politics of Demonology: The European Witchcraft and the Mass Production of Deviance, London: Associated University Presses, 1990, p. 118.

[lx] Brauner, 2001, p. 5.

[lxi] Milliken, 2012, p. 55.

[lxii] Hults, 2005, p. 74.

[lxiii] Hults, 2005, p. 61.

[lxiv] Kwan, 2012, p. 509. See for example Hans Baldung Grien, Three Witches (1514, pen drawing on red-brown tinted paper, 38.9 x 27cm, Albertina, Vienna), illustrated in Zika, 2007, p. 83.

[lxv] Sara F. Matthews Grieco ‘The Body Appearance and Sexuality, in Natalie Zemon Davis and Arlette Farge (eds.) A History of Women in the West: III Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992, p. 46.

[lxvi] Jane P. Davidson, Early Modern Supernatural: The Dark Side of European Culture, 1400-1700, Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2012, pp. 158-60.

[lxvii] Caroline Oates, ‘Metamorphosis and Lycanthropy in French-Comte, 1521-1643’, in Michel Feher ed., Fragments for a History of the Human Body, Part One, New York: Zone, 1989, p. 305.

[lxviii] Homayun Sidky, Witchcraft, Lycanthropy, Drugs, and Disease: An Anthropological Study of the European Witch-Hunts, New York: Peter Lang, 1997, p. 233.

[lxix] Rolf Schulte, Man as Witch: Male Witches in Central Europe, trans. Linda Froome-Döring, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp. 3, 182. Also see Rolf Schulte, ‘Men as Accused Witches in the Holy Roman Empire’, in Alison Rowlands ed., Witchcraft and Masculinities in Early Modern Europe, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp. 52-74. Oates, 1989, pp. 326-27. Many women were accused of turning into wolves in Franche-Comte. For examples see Sidky, 1997, p. 230 and Rolf Schulte, ‘“She transformed into a werewolf, devouring and killing two children”: trails of she-werewolves in early modern French Burgundy’, trans. Linda Froome-Döring, in Hannah Priest ed., She Wolf: A Cultural History of Female Werewolves, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015, pp. 41-59.

[lxx] For a multidiscipline survey on the female werewolf, see Hannah Priest, She-Wolf: A Cultural History of Female Werewolves, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015. Also see Jazmina Cininas, ‘The Girlie Werewolf Hall of Fame: Historical and Contemporary Figurations of the Female Lycanthrope’, PhD thesis, RMIT, 2013. Jazmina Cininas’ exegesis in her doctoral thesis provides a survey of the female representation of werewolves from antiquity until today, which informs her accompanying visual arts project portraying female werewolves throughout history. Her large historical framework proves the rarity of the female werewolf throughout history. Jazmina Cininas recognises the lack of historical female werewolves in Jazmina Cininas ‘Girlie Werewolves with Five O’Clock Shadows: Surveying Representations of She Wolves, Wolf Girls and Female Werewolves in Printmaking and the Visual Arts’, in Luke Morgan ed., IMPACT7: Intersections and Counterpoints, Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2013, pp. 107-08.  

[lxxi] Dana Oswald, ‘Monstrous Gender: Geographies of Ambiguity’ in Asa Mittman and Peter Dendle eds., The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2012, p. 348.

[lxxii] For an English translation  by Vera Möller, see Appendix in Cininas, 2013.

[lxxiii] Oplinger, 1990, p. 39; Thomas Robisheaux, ‘The German Witch Trials’, in Brian Levack, The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial Americ, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 183.

[lxxiv] Kramer and Springer, 2009, p. 165 (Part 1 42B). Also see Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 82-104. Translation  by Vera Möller, see Appendix in Cininas, 2013.

[lxxv] Darren Oldridge, Strange Histories: The Trail of the Pig, the Walking Dead, and other Matters of Fact from Medieval and Renaissance Worlds, London: Routledge, 2005, p.  80. 

[lxxvi] Kwan, 2012, p. 510.

[lxxvii] Joyce E. Salisbury, The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages, New York: Routledge, 1994, 98.

[lxxviii] Hults, 2005, p. 66.

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