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Help me Lazywebs! 
21st-Jun-2010 10:23 pm
Does anyone know the origin of the "9 million women" estimate for the "burning times?" I recall reading somewhere that it was first used in a speech at an early Take Back the Night rally, but I can't find a reference.

EDIT: I found the answer here. Thanks.
22nd-Jun-2010 05:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, just found that one.
22nd-Jun-2010 05:38 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Well, in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance she says 9 million (page 30), but in the 10th anniversary says between 100,000 and 9 million, which I still think is high...but she has no sources listed. So did she make up the number?

22nd-Jun-2010 05:39 am (UTC)
Or I could have looked at Wikipedia instead of digging through my library. Wah!
22nd-Jun-2010 05:42 am (UTC)
Also, Voight isn't even in her selected bibliography! How could she just throw out a number like that!

ramble ramble.
22nd-Jun-2010 05:45 am (UTC)
By 1979, when Starhawk wrote the book, the 9 million figure had become common folklore. It was quoted everywhere, by nearly everyone who had a critique of misogyny, the church, or any number of other things. The figure had attained the common knowledge stature of "America declared it's independence in 1776."
22nd-Jun-2010 05:43 am (UTC)
Nope. According to Wikipedea, it was an 18th century German historian with dodgy statistics. Essentially, he'd written a history of a 29 year period at a monastery, where there had been 40 executions. He then did a bunch of multiplication, got to an average of 133 per century, assumed the witch hunts lasted 1100 years, and adjusted that total upwards to reflect his estimate for the population of Europe in that 11 century window.
22nd-Jun-2010 05:48 am (UTC)
There are not even words for that.
22nd-Jun-2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
..... Where the hell did he come up with 11 centuries?? That would've had the witch hunts starting in the 600s, when Christianity was still being spread throughout much of Europe. (As in, they weren't going to kill pagans/witches/etc., they were going to try to convert them.)
22nd-Jun-2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
in the 10th anniversary says between 100,000 and 9 million

Wow, what a useful range. There's the scholarship.

Did you know that between 1978 and 1995, "between" 37 and 3,330 people were killed by vending machines?

"Sir, approximately how fast were you driving?"
"Between 1 and 90 miles per hour, officer."

"Officer Garret, at what speed did you estimate the defendant to be travelling?"
"Between 55 and 4,950 miles per hour, Your Honor."
22nd-Jun-2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
Only Mrs. Krabappel on the Simpsons could sum up my thoughts so well...

22nd-Jun-2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
Waiiit a minute. 37 people were killed by vending machines??!? By crushing? Or by rocket powered pop cans shooting out?
22nd-Jun-2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for making me laugh :-) Inept "scholarship" can really be funny.
23rd-Jun-2010 02:05 am (UTC)
There's a good commentary on it in Behringer's Witches and witch-hunts: a global history. See p. 157 and onward for how it came from Voigt and was perpetuated.

Edit to fix link.

Edited at 2010-06-23 02:06 am (UTC)
23rd-Jun-2010 11:23 am (UTC)
I think you'll find this of interest - "Recent Developments in the Study of the Great European Witch Hunt"

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