Sprenger, Jacob

Sprenger, Jacob a Dominican monk of Cologne, provincial of his order (A.D. 1495), and one of the two inquisitors-general appointed by Innocent VIII (1484) for the destruction of witches, which he declared were overrunning Germany. From confessions extorted on the rack a perfect dogmatic and historical system was framed, in which the various compacts made with the devil, or the improper alliances contracted with him, obtained their due place. On the basis of this new lore Sprenger elaborated a code of criminal procedure against witches, entitled Malleus Maleficarum. See Kurtz, Church Hist. vol. 1, § 115, 2.

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