[This is Fred. G is off this week; he’s back at the G homestead, emptying out jars of spare change and trundling them to the bank. It seems that, while Elemental Zoo has a quality product, it also has a lousy business plan. We don’t make enough money here even to afford dues at Typepad. So while G’s ransacking his house, and going from neighbor to neighbor with a tin cup, he told me to take over for a bit and “cover anything you want.” I hung up when he said that; no point in giving him time to conjure up qualifications and guidelines; and immediately called Larry, our legal guru.

Oops! I see now we’re on WordPress! I’d better get on with this before G calls again.

You see, Larry and I have some common interests. We both have a thing about animals, the furrier the better, and we like to speculate in our off hours. How did humans treat animals in other times and places? Sure, today we have millions of house-pets, and some of them are spoiled rotten.  But it’s clear to me that a lot of them don’t get much respect. G says that some of his neighbors are perfectly willing to poison his cats, if given the chance, and then claim it was all a mistake. They really intended to poison something else.

G’s not buying that, and I probably wouldn’t, either. It doesn’t seem right that somebody can eliminate your pets, call it collateral damage, and say that it was all for the greater good. Especially if they’re the ones defining the greater good, and you don’t agree. But I guess I’m just narrow-minded that way.

Anyway, this was on my mind when I called Larry, so I asked him: Was there ever a time when we treated animals better than we do today, gave them more respect, and that kind of thing?  To my surprise he didn’t dismiss my question out of hand; instead, he gave it a resounding “perhaps.” European attitudes were quite a bit different in the 19th Century and more so even further back.

I wasn’t expecting that, for sure; so I asked for an explanation. Well, it seems that he’s been reading up on the subject; he hasn’t found much recent material, but he did find an older book by E.P. Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals.[1] It’s a review of the literature, from around 800 AD to 1906.

Frankly, I was surprised. All I knew about how animals were treated back in the Middle Ages was that there were procedures for insulating them from demons. Even the old witch hunters, who were vigilant about heresy and witchcraft, thought it was all right to do that.[2] But I had no idea there was a procedure for hauling animals into court. So I asked Larry to explain it to all of us.]

“First, Larry, what do we know about the author, E. P. Evans? Is he a reliable source?”

“Thanks, Fred. Those are good questions. He’s listed in various data bases, and generally is thought to have lived from 1831 to 1917. Wikipedia, for one, confirms those dates, but without much backup. He taught for a while at the University of Michigan and then, in 1870, moved to Europe. But of course, inquiring minds want to know more, so I looked into it.

We got more details from a local history of Remsen[3], NY, where he was born.[4] His father was the Rev. Edward Evans, his mother was Mary Evans, and both were from New South Wales. They immigrated to the United States in 1827 and settled, first in Riverhead, Long Island, and then in Remsen. Edward Payson Evans was born there.[5]

E. P. Evans graduated from the University of Michigan in 1854, taught for a couple of years in the South, and then was appointed to a professorship at Carroll College, Waukesha, WI.[6] After that he spent three years studying in Germany, then returned to the U.S. and, in 1862 was appointed a professor of Modern Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan.[7]

He married a New Hampshire girl, Elizabeth Edson Gibson, in 1868 and in 1870 they moved to Germany, ‘where he continued to live for thirty years, engaged in writing an elaborate history of German literature from the earliest times to [the late 19th Century].’[8] It’s not clear, to me at least, where he (or they) lived after that.

It looks like Evans supported himself and his family as a professional writer. He wrote several books and many articles capitalizing on his ability to read and translate Latin, German, French and so forth. You find them cataloged today in various digital libraries.[9] Some of his books are in German, most are in English. They included translations from the German,[10] a book of readings in German for English-speakers,[11] his Animal Symbolism and Ecclesiastical Architecture,[12] his book on Evolutional Ethics and Animal Psychology[13]and, of course, the volume we’re going to discuss today. And his articles popped up in odd places; for example, he contributed to the Atlantic Monthly,[14] yet in the 1890’s he also did a whole series of articles for Popular Science.[15]

“So, what you’re saying is that he was an academic who turned to popular writing to follow his interests and support his family. And he was qualified to do that because he wrote and spoke the languages involved, and took a scholarly approach to these matters. Yes?”

“Correct. I’m not saying that he was right all of the time. Just that he was intelligent, well trained, literate and closer to the material than any of his critics might be, today. And probably he liked Europe better than Michigan.”

“Well, that took longer than I thought, but I see why. Even though Evans wrote quite a bit, he seems to have been an elusive sort of fellow. Not like today, when everybody is famous. And most of them are ignorant as well. So let’s get on with your discussion of The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals .[16]

“Thanks for that. We spent so much time on the background that I almost forgot which book we were going to talk about. According to Evans, there were two different legal procedures for dealing with animals: one ‘instituted by ecclesiastical courts against rats, mice, locusts, weevils, and other vermin in order to prevent them from devouring … crops,’ etc.[17]; and the other used by secular tribunals to punish ‘pigs, cows, horses, and other domestic animals … for homicide’.[18]

Why two? Well, mostly for practical reasons. A domestic animal could be arrested on the spot and carried off for trial. Swarms of locusts, mice and so forth were more unruly. They could not be ‘seized and imprisoned by the civil authorities’ in any practical way. So the Church had to intervene and exercise ‘its supernatural functions [to compel them] to desist from their devastations and to retire from all places devoted to the production of human sustenance.’”[19]

“That’s interesting,” I said, “if a bit wordy. These days we poison bugs and rodents to get rid of them. It’s costly, of course, and not very friendly to the environment. As G found out, poisons that kill rats and bugs also may kill humans, pets, birds and other bystanders. Perhaps we should take another look at the religious option.”

“I agree an ecclesiastical prosecution might be less damaging to the environment, but it might not be very effective, either. And no doubt First Amendment[20] advocates would oppose federal funding for a religious campaign to exorcise pests.

But let’s get back to the animals. Some people might think the topic – animal litigation – is frivolous, but, let me assure you, lawyers in the middle of the last millennium took it seriously.

Not everybody thought that all beasts, birds and creeping things were devils in disguise;[21] but most believed that if an animal killed a human, and then went free, the way would be opened for devils to intervene and take possession of people, animals, and the places affected.[22] And once established, demonic possession of real estate could go on for a long time. A good title search could locate all of the ordinary liens and encumbrances recorded in the local registry of deeds; but it would be ‘far more difficult to ascertain whether the infernal powers have any claims upon the property.’[23]

“Fine, I understand that. Guilty animals had to be punished; otherwise there would be … consequences. So how did these medieval lawyers determine guilt?”

“Through a process, of course – after all, they were lawyers – but it was more even-handed than you might think. The animals could defend themselves, and sometimes they won a point or two. That distinguishes the animal trials from the witch trials that we talked about over a year ago. Once a person was accused as a witch, she pretty much was assumed to be guilty. The point of any proceeding was simply to get a confession. [24]

Anyway, let’s look at what happened in specific cases. We’ll start first with pest infestations, and move on later to homicide by farm animals.”


The Rats of Autun, France[25]

“This case is from the 16th Century, rather late as these things go. Some rats had been put on trial in the ecclesiastical court at Autun[26] ‘on the charge of having feloniously eaten up and wantonly destroyed the barley-crop of that province.[27]’ Bartholomew Chassenee,[28] a local lawyer, was appointed to defend them and, recognizing that his clients were not sympathetic characters, he decided his best course was to delay the proceedings as much as possible.[29]

First he argued that his clients, the rats, were widely dispersed in the area, and they weren’t given sufficient notice of the charges against them. One summons, issued in one place, wouldn’t do. There had to be a second one, published from the pulpits of all the parishes ‘inhabited by the said rats.’[30] Apparently he won that point, and in the days of travel by horseback and foot, it took the authorities quite some time to comply.

Then, when the rats didn’t appear for trial, he argued that they should be excused because the trip was long and difficult for them, and threatened by cats.[31] If a defendant couldn’t safely appear in court, he should be permitted to challenge and refuse to obey the summons. It’s not clear whether he won the second argument,[32] but after this he was well known for his defense of the rats. He even wrote a book about it.[33]

The same issue reappeared many years later during one of the religious persecutions of the Waldensians, then thought to be a heretical sect.[34] At that time[35] Chassenee was essentially the highest judicial official in the area.[36] A measure was introduced to exterminate the Waldensians in two local villages.  Its opponents argued that, as in the case of the rats, nothing should be done until the defendants had an opportunity to appear in safety and answer the charges against them.

Chassenee agreed with that, asked for and received an appropriate order from the king, but unfortunately died shortly thereafter. Apparently nothing was done with the order and the villages were attacked.”[37]

“Well, that was pretty grim. What’s the next case?”

Insects in the Vineyards of St. Julien

“It seems that in 1545 the vineyards of St. Julien[38], an area in France famous for its wine, were infested with a species of green weevil.[39] A complaint was filed with the authorities, asking to eject the insects, and local defense counsel were appointed to defend them. However, after the case was initially presented, the presiding official ruled that God had created the earth to feed both humans and insects, and that the proper remedy for the humans was to ‘have recourse to the mercy of heaven and to implore pardon for our sins.’[40] Detailed instructions were given on how to do this.

This seemed to work for a time, but the insects came back about 30 years later and were actually brought to trial.[41] The proceedings focused on developing an acceptable compromise between the needs of the humans and the needs of the insects. Evans summarized the situation as follows:”

In the legal proceedings…two points are presented with great clearness and seem to be accepted as incontestable: first, the right of the insects to adequate means of subsistence suited to their nature. This right was recognized by both parties; even the prosecution did not deny it, but only maintained that they must not trespass cultivated fields and destroy the fruits of man’s [labor]. The complainants were perfectly willing to assign to the weevils an uncultivated tract of ground, where they could feed upon such natural products of the soil as were not due to human toil and tillage. Secondly, no one appears to have doubted for a moment that the Church could, by virtue of its anathema, compel these creatures to stop their ravages and cause them to go from one place to another.[42]

“That’s really interesting,” I said. “You could look at this as an early recognition that humans need to maintain a balance between their needs and the needs of the planet. It could be an early statement about environmentalism.”

“Well, some people thought like that, but certainly not Evans. One commentator in his day said that ‘there was something indescribably beautiful in the thought of assimilating the insect of the field to the masterpiece of creation [i.e., humans] and putting them on an equality before the law.’[43] Evans didn’t agree. He thought that people back then had trials of this sort simply because they were ignorant. Such trials were the ‘outcome of an extremely crude, obtuse, and barbaric sense of justice,’ and were ‘the product of a social state, in which dense ignorance was governed by brute force….’[44]

But let’s talk about that a little bit later.”

“Fine; you haven’t said anything about domesticated animals, and the homicides they might commit. Do you have any examples of that?”

Domestic Animals Who Kill

“Yes indeed. Evans cites lots of examples, but the descriptions are summary at best. He was working from lists compiled by others[45]; and he created a larger one, that appears in Appendix F[46] of his book.  But Appendix F is quite sketchy; it identifies trials by (i) the source of information, (ii) the date held (iii) the animal defendants, and (iv) the place of trial. There’s not much of an account of any trial, but no doubt there’s more detail in the underlying sources. Good luck to anybody who wants to search them out.”

“So why do we suffer from a dearth of facts about the animal homicides? No apparent trial proceedings, no written records and so forth?”

“I’m not sure, but I can guess. First, there are sources because Evans cites one for each incident he records. These may be summary in nature, such as a short acknowledgment of an execution. I point out several of these a little later in the discussion. Other documents are longer, but here Evans might have played a little joke on the readers. Most of them are in their original languages – Latin, German or French; so perhaps he was daring us to translate them for ourselves. I don’t know about you, but my Latin is rusty, and my French and German are non-existent. So I wasn’t up to the task.[47] And still others were referenced, but not reproduced in the book. After all, there are limits on what publishers will allow.

Or it could simply be that, when a farm animal kills a human, the facts are pretty straightforward, and well known. Animal A killed human B, and humans C and D saw it. It’s like a traffic ticket; simple in most cases, and easy to prove. So only summary court records would be required, if any; remember, all writing was done by hand in those days, hopefully by people who were literate. And if some records were made, they might be destroyed over time. Parchment, for example, was valuable, and could be reused for other purposes.”

“That’s a lot of speculation Larry. It sounds like a good project for a graduate student in Medieval History. Were court records kept for animal homicide trials, and if so, where are they or why were they destroyed? Go find out and get yourself a PhD.”

“Ha. Ha. Ha. Anyway, Appendix F is valuable for other reasons. After all, it includes 191 separate events.[48] Some of them were infestations, but the majority were animal homicides. The earliest case cited was an ecclesiastical prosecution of moles in the Valley of Aosta, France, in 824 AD.[49] The most recent one, in Switzerland, 1906, involved the trial of a father and son, and their dog, for killing and robbing another man.[50] The great majority of all recorded cases occurred from about 1400 to 1800.”

“That’s interesting. Historians say that the Middle Ages ended in about 1500.[51] Everything after that is ‘Early Modern.’ And, of course, the Enlightenment started in about 1650, and ran through the next century.[52] And animal trials continued all the while this was going on?”

“Yes, and up to the year Evans published his book. And, I might add, we in North America weren’t exempted from such things; in New England around 1680, for example, a child of 5 and a dog were executed for witchcraft.[53] But that’s another story.

If you look at Evans’ data, especially in Appendix F, you’ll see that lots of farm animals got into trouble, including ‘turtle-doves, pigs, bulls, cows, cocks, dogs, asses, mules, mares and goats.’[54] And the executions, when they occurred, were often quite brutal. ‘Beasts were often condemned to be burned alive; and strangely enough, it was in the latter half of the seventeenth century, an age of comparative enlightenment, that this cruel penalty seems to have been most frequently inflicted.’[55] Sometimes large animals were buried alive instead.[56]

You’ll also see that the pigs often were the worst offenders, and they suffered for it. For example,

  • In January of 1457 a sow was condemned to death for infanticide. Shortly thereafter its piglets were confiscated as accomplices in the crime.[57]
  • On June 14, 1494 a pig was sentenced to be hanged and strangled for killing an infant.[58]
  • On April 18, 1499, a pig was condemned to be hanged for having killed an infant. The owners of the pig were fined eighteen francs for negligence, because the child ‘was their fosterling.’[59]
  • On March 27, 1567 a sow ‘with a black snout’ was sentenced to be hanged ‘for her cruelty and ferocity in murdering a girl of four months.’ Also, the locals were forbidden to ‘let such beasts run at large on penalty of an arbitrary fine.’[60]

“Now that last one sounds quite sensible,” I said. “Somebody finally realized that, if the pigs were dangerous, farmers shouldn’t let them run around among the villagers.”

“True enough. And early on authorities recognized that whole herds of swine shouldn’t be punished for the actions of a few. There was a limit to guilt by association.”

  • On September 12, 1379, two herds of swine were pardoned by the local authority after they were condemned ‘to suffer the extreme penalty of the law as accomplices in an infanticide committed by three sows.’[61]

And what about larger farm animals? Well, they also did bad things and paid for it. Here are a couple of examples:

  • On May 16, 1499, a bull was sentenced to death ‘for furiously killing Lucas Dupont, a young man of fourteen or fifteen years of age.’[62]
  • On July 20, 1621, a cow was sentenced to death ‘for having killed a woman at Machern near Leipsic.’[63]

And what if an animal had a human accomplice? Well, here are two examples of that:

  • On September 12, 1606 one Guillaume Guyart was condemned ‘to be hanged and burned together with a bitch’.[64] Evans doesn’t say why, but I’m sure the locals thought there was good cause.
  • In 1906 a Swiss farmer named Marger ‘was killed and robbed by [a man] and his son, with the fierce and effective co-operation of their dog.’ The two men got life, but the dog, ‘as the chief culprit, without whose complicity the crime could not have been committed,’ was put to death.[65]

Not only were animals and humans tried in the same courts, but sometimes they shared the same quarters[66] during the trial and the authorities paid for their executions.[67]

“That’s quite a story, Larry. I’m guessing that rulers didn’t treat their people all that well, back in the 1400’s to the 1600’s, but apparently they extended the same legal courtesies to animal defendants that they gave to citizens. At least if the animals appeared as swarms, hordes, or infestations. I’m still not sure what kind of process, due or otherwise, the Europeans gave their farm animals. And I guess Evans didn’t try to track the acquittals, only the convictions.”

“That’s true but, to tell the truth, he may not have had any animal homicide acquittal records to check. Convictions were noteworthy – somebody or something was punished – but perhaps acquittals were less so. And again, paper records, if they exist, do tend to disappear over time. I know about that. I used to work for the Government.”


“We all did. Anyway, this was very interesting; I like to poke around in obscure parts of our history. But do we have any lessons from all this that might apply today?”

“Just the obvious one. We discussed it a while back. Defending animals was serious business. Evans thought people (i) tried swarms, etc. simply out of ignorance and superstition, and (ii) mistakenly believed that judgments could be enforced by the church, i.e., by resorting to ‘metaphysical aid’ and ‘sacerdotal conjuring and cursing.’[68] Apparently he thought the civil authorities were similarly ignorant when they tried farm animals for homicide.

But something larger was at work. Humans were tough on each other, but people in power did cut the animals some slack. Animals had rights even if humans – say, heretics – might not.[69]

“I think you’ve demonstrated that, Larry; but do you know why?”

“I can only guess. Of course there were two competing views of animals: the one, that they were basically demonic in nature; the other, that they were put on Earth to share the planet with us. If you believed the second, then obviously animals should have some rights.

And even though they were uneducated by our standards, folks who lived on the land knew that bad decisions in animal husbandry or farming could make their lives worse than they needed to be. Before these people took drastic action on anything, a swarm of insects or a murderous pig, it would have made sense to pause a bit and consider the options.  Perhaps their way of doing it was to have a trial, engage the educated people of the time – lawyers and clerics – to consider both sides, and see what happened.”

“That’s an interesting speculation, but it seems most of the arguments at these trials were about theology and law, not about agriculture. They were irrelevant to real problems, like infestations or murderous farm animals.”

“That’s partly true; people used the intellectual tools they had. These days we might rely on science, because that gives better results, for example, in exterminating rats or weevils. But modern science really didn’t start to develop until the 18th Century[70]; before then, theology, philosophy and law were the principal areas of study.[71]

Even so there was a practical side to some of these proceedings. The contending parties at St. Julien spent a good part of their time looking for suitable fields to which they could divert the weevils. To me that sounds like an early attempt at a green solution!

But why are you surprised if the wrong issues were discussed? Even today we use the modern equivalents of theology and philosophy in the debate on global warming[72]. We rely on politics and pop-economics to make our decisions, and ignore real science when the answers it gives are inconvenient.  Don’t spend on the environment, or regulate any industry, if it will raise the cost of producing the junk we use to divert ourselves, by even one penny!”

“Thanks, Larry. I asked and you certainly answered. And I agree that, as G says, ‘When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’[73]Today’s politicians need to recognize, when they’re having their cars fixed, it’s not a political problem they’re solving; it’s a mechanical problem. The same holds true for economists. Lots of our current debates about the environment have nothing to do with the underlying science, but lots to do with politics and economic theories.

But now it’s time to wind this up. Larry, your efforts were heroic; no one else here could have done as well.

And thanks also to our heroic readers who’ve come this far. It was a long blog. Stick with Elemental Zoo and, at least when I’m the Master of Ceremonies, we’ll take you down even more highways and byways you never thought to visit.”

[Telephone? Oh, Hello G. Yes, we did “Animal Rights in History.” No, nothing controversial in it. Well, I can’t be responsible if some idiots object. It’s just an interesting piece, that’s all. Yes, that’s a good idea; read it before you complain. Talk to you later.]






[1] See Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (London, 1906). You can get a full text pdf version of this book at http://archive.org/details/criminalprosecut00evaniala .  It’s pre-1923, so it’s not copyright protected. Amazing what’s available these days, isn’t it? Anyway, henceforth the book will be cited as Evans at __.

[2] See Sprenger & Institoris, The Hammer of Witches (1486) (Mackay translation) (Cambridge, 2010) (hereafter cited as Hammer of Witches at __) See Hammer of Witches at 462, 464: “In this work nothing is judged to be superstitious, provided that, for the sake of the piety that they offer to the poor, they undertake to implore the piety of God to protect the domestic animals, leaving the effect of the protection to God’s providence according to His resolve.”

[3] It’s a small town in Oneida County, in Upstate NY, near Rome and Utica. For a view of modern Remsen go to http://town.remsen.ny.us/content/

[4] See Roberts, A Narrative History of Remsen, NY, Including Parts of the Adjoining Townships of Steuben and Trenton, 1789-1898, (Syracuse, NY, 1914) at p. 370 – 371. You can get this online as a free e book at  http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/millard-fillmore-roberts/a-narrative-history-of-remsen-new-york-including-parts-of-the-adjoining-townsh-ebo/page-28-a-narrative-history-of-remsen-new-york-including-parts-of-the-adjoining-townsh-ebo.shtml Hereafter, this will be cited as Roberts, Narrative History at __. By the way, the website shows the book in two volumes, but if you download both of them, they will be the same.

[5] Actually, the local history doesn’t confirm the exact date of his date of birth.

[6] See Roberts, Narrative History at p. 370. “His son, Edward Payson Evans, who was born here, is the distinguished scholar and writer. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1854, and soon after went south, where he taught school one winter at Taylorsville, Ky., going from there to Herndon, Miss., where he took charge of an academy for boys, also teaching the graduating class of young ladies of the Mississippi Female College, located at that place. After a year there he was appointed to a professorship in Carroll College, Waukesha, Wis., where he was also principal of an academy for young ladies. From 1857 to 1860 he studied in Germany, principally at the Universities of Gottingen and Munich. Returning to this country he was appointed professor of modern languages and literature at the University of Michigan.”

[7] See University of Michigan Faculty History Project, at http://um2017.org/faculty-history/faculty/edward-payson-evans

[8] See Roberts, Narrative History at p. 370 – 371. The account continues: “Mr. Evans has also translated into English many German works of high character, and has written regularly for the North American Review, The Nation, the Atlantic Monthly, Unitarian Review, and many other American periodicals, being also a regular contributor to many of the best journals in Germany. While residing abroad, he devoted much time to the study of Oriental languages, Sanskrit, Zend, and Modern Persian, and published many articles on Oriental subjects, both religious and literary. Mrs. Evans contributed verse and prose to newspapers and magazines, and her published books included several novels of merit.”

[9] See, for example, the Hathi Trust Digital Library, at  http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008674778

[10] See the Hathi Trust Digital Library at http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/005916456

[11] See Hathi Trust Digital Library at http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008674778

[12] See Hathi Trust Digital Library at http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006933800

[13] See Hathi Trust Digital Library at http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001390280

[14] See Evans at Introduction, p. 1.

[15] Want to see a list? Go to Wikisource at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Edward_Payson_Evans

[16] By the way, it’s also available from the Medieval Bestiary, at  http://bestiary.ca/etexts/evans1896/evans1896.htm

[17] See Evans at p. 2-3.

[18] See Evans at p. 2.

[19] See Evans at p. 3.

[20] You can get the text of the Constitution and its amendments from many sources. We prefer the one available from the National Archives. To find it, go to: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html The First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

[21] See Evans at p. 6.

[22] See Evans at p. 6: “A homicidal pig or bull was not necessarily assumed to be the incarnation of a demon, although it was maintained by eminent authorities, as we have shown in the present work, that all beasts and birds, as well as creeping things, were devils in disguise; but the homicide, if it were permitted to go unpunished, was supposed to furnish occasion for the intervention of devils, who were thereby enabled to take possession of both persons and places.”

[23] See Evans at p. 7.

[24] See Hammer of Witches at 521-523, especially p. 523. Once a witch is accused, it does her (or hom) no good to deny the charges. She’s presumptively a witch, and witches deny that sort of thing, until they confess. “The person caught by evidence of the deed or through witnesses either confesses or does not.” If he confesses, he should be turned over to the secular authorities and imprisoned for life. If he does not, he should be declared an impenitent and punished for that.

[25] See Evans at Chapter 1, Bugs and Beasts Before the Law, at p. 18 – 21.

[26] Go to Wikipedia for a history of Autun; just search the website for “Autun,” or click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autun

[27] See Evans at p. 18.

[28] Spellings vary. This is the one Evans uses. See Evans at p. 18 and note 1.

[29] See Evans at p. 18 – 19: “In view of the bad repute and notorious guilt of his clients, Chassenee was forced to employ all sorts of legal shifts and chicane, dilatory pleas and other technical objections, hoping thereby to find some loophole in the meshes of the law through which the accused might escape, or at least to defer and mitigate the sentence of the judge.”

[30] See Evans at p. 19: “One summons, issued in one place, wouldn’t do. He urged, in the first place, that inasmuch as the defendants were dispersed over a large tract of country and dwelt in numerous villages, a single summons was insufficient to notify them all; he succeeded, therefore, in obtaining a second citation, to be published from the pulpits of all the parishes inhabited by the said rats.”

[31] See Evans at p. 19: “At the expiration of the considerable time which elapsed before this order could be carried into effect and the proclamation be duly made, he excused the default or non-appearance of his clients on the ground of the length and difficulty of the journey and the serious perils which attended it, owing to the unwearied vigilance of their mortal enemies, the cats, who watched all their movements, and, with fell intent, lay in wait for them at every corner and passage.”

[32] See Evans at p. 21

[33] It’s cited in Evans, Bibliography, p. 362-371, at p. 364. Evans talks about the book, but he’s not a real fan if it or its author. “Like so many scholars of his day he was prodigiously learned, without being remarkable for clearness or originality of thought. Indeed, the vastness of his erudition seems rather to have hampered than helped the vigorous growth of his intellectual faculties.” See Evans at p. 24. He should have looked in a mirror when he wrote that.

[34] You can find a history of the Waldensians in Wikipedia. Just go to the website and search Waldensians, or click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldensians A large number of them were massacred in these villages in 1545.

[35] That is, in 1540.

[36] A position equivalent to “Chief Justice,” according to Evans. See Evans, Bibliography, p. 362-371, at p. 364.

[37] You can find the discussion in Evans at p. 20.

[38] There’s a description of the area in Wikipedia. Go to the website and search “Saint-Julien-en-Genevois” or click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Julien-en-Genevois

[39] See Evans at p. 38. According to Evans, its scientific name was rychites auratus. I can’t find that name anywhere on the net. Evans says that it was also popularly known as amblevin, beche, and verpillion, in various parts of France.

[40] See Evans at p. 38, 39.

[41] The proceedings were recorded in 29 “folia” that later were made available to Evans for his inspection. See Evans at p. 39, 40.

[42] See Evans at p. 50.

[43] See Evans at p. 40.

[44] See Evans at p. 41.

[45] See Evans at p. 135.

[46] See Evans at Appendix F, p. 313 – 334.

[47] If G complains, ask him if he wants to spring for a translation program. With enough money, I’m sure we can find a software package to do the work. Then, of course, we would need travel money to go to Europe and search for more records.

[48] I counted them, but it was late at night, so it was probably plus or minus one or two

[49] See Evans at Appendix F, p. 313.

[50] See Evans at Appendix F, p. 334 and note 1.

[51] If you want to know more, check out Wikipedia. Go to the website and search “Middle Ages” or simply click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Ages

[52] If you want to more about the Enlightenment, go to Wikipedia and search “Age of Enlightenment,” or simply click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

[53] Extraordinary Popular Delusions at p. 553 – 554.

[54] See Evans at p. 135 – 136.

[55] See Evans at p. 138. But judges were not without mercy. “Occasionally a merciful judge adhered to the letter of the law and curbed its barbarous spirit by sentencing the culprit to be slightly singed and then to be strangled before being committed to the flames.”

[56] See Evans at p. 138.

[57] See Evans at Appendix M, p. 346 – 351.

[58] See Evans at Appendix O, p. 354 – 355.

[59] See Evans at Appendix N, p. 352 – 353.

[60] See Evans at Appendix P, p. 356 – 357.

[61] See Evans at Appendix K, p. 342 – 343.

[62] See Evans at Appendix Q, p. 358 – 359.

[63] The sentence was passed by the Law Faculty of the University near there. See Evans at Appendix S, p. 361.

[64] See Evans at Appendix L, p. 344 – 345.

[65] See Evans at Appendix F, p. 334 and note 1.

[66] See Evans at Appendix J, p. 340 – 341. “Receipt, dated Oct. 16, 1408, and signed by Toustain Pincheon, jailer of the royal prisons in the town of Pont de Larche, acknowledging the payment of nineteen sous and six deniers tournois for food furnished to sundry men and to one pig kept in the said prisons on charge of crime.”

[67] See Evans at Appendix I, p. 338 – 339: “Attestation of Symon de Baudemont, lieutenant of the bailiff of Mantes and Meullant, made by order of the said bailiff and the King’s proctor, on March 15, 1403, and certifying to the expenses incurred in executing a sow that had devoured a small child.”

[68] See Evans at Introduction, p. 3.

[69] If you want to see evidence of rights for humans in the Middle Ages, don’t bother to read the Hammer of Witches, note 2. That book is about fighting heresy and getting confessions, not due process or any other human right.

[70] If you want to know more, check out Wikipedia. Go to the website and search “History of Science,” or click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_science#Modern_science

[71] These were at the graduate level. Theology was considered to be the most prestigious major. Wikipedia has good information on medieval universities. Go to the Wikipedia website and search “Medieval University” or click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_university

[72] Sorry, I meant global “climate change.”

[73] That’s a modern saying, attributed to nobody in particular. You can find the quote in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (6th Edition, 2004) at Sayings, p. 388, no. 21.