Russische Zauberer und ukrainische Zauberinnen Zaubereiprozesse von 1700 bis 1740 als historische Quelle
This article is based on 103 witchcraft trials carried out by church and state authorities in St Petersburg and Moscow between 1700 and 1740. The attempt to reconstruct the social and gender profile of the accused relies on data referring to 129 persons charged with witchcraft. The Russian trials show a clear preponderance of male towards female accused (113 to 16). Two further experiments were carried out in order to come to a proper interpretation. The group of the accused was divided into professional sorcerers and customers (both being equally guilty in terms of the law). The small subgroup of,,professional sorcerers, which includes those who had been paid for their services, turns out to be predominantly male. In order to identify the main constellations in the trials I then tried to reconstruct typical couples of denouncers and accused. This investigation makes the Russian witchcraft trial look highly ambiguous, in so far as accusations could be aimed from above to below as well as vice versa. A small minority of four trials dealing with Ukraine form a separate group. The demonological aspect is stronger than in the Russian trials: Here we find, for instance, the only known hint at the Sabbath of witches. The Ukrainian trials were influenced by a different juridical tradition. Furthermore, the share of women among the accused is particularly high. Thus the ethnological model of,,East Slavic popular magic has to be seriously called into question as referring to the early modem period.