Test Cover Image of:  Witchcraft in Russia and Ukraine, 1000–1900

Witchcraft in Russia and Ukraine, 1000–1900

A Sourcebook

Edited by: Valerie A. Kivelson and Christine D. Worobec

This sourcebook provides the first systematic overview of witchcraft laws and trials in Russia and Ukraine from medieval times to the late nineteenth century. Witchcraft in Russia and Ukraine weaves scholarly commentary with never before published primary source materials translated from Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian. These sources include the earliest references to witchcraft and sorcery, secular and religious laws regarding witchcraft and possession, full trial transcripts, and a wealth of magical spells. The documents present a rich panorama of daily life and reveal the extraordinary power of magical words.

Editors Valerie A. Kivelson and Christine D. Worobec present new analyses of the workings and evolution of legal systems, the interplay and tensions between church and state, and the prosaic concerns of the women and men involved in witchcraft proceedings. The extended documentary commentaries also explore the shifting boundaries and fraught political relations between Russia and Ukraine.

Author Information

Valeria A. Kivelson is Thomas N. Tentler Collegiate Professor of History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Cartographies of Tsardom, Desperate Magic, and Autocracy in the Provinces.

Christine D. Worobec is Distinguished Research Professor Emerita at Northern Illinois University. She is the author of Possessed and Peasant Russia.


Michael D. Bailey, Iowa State University, author most recently of Fearful Spirits, Reasoned Follies:

"This book is the first of its kind. In short, it fills a significant gap in the area of witchcraft studies."

David Goldfrank, Georgetown University (ret.), translator of Nil Sorsky:

"This is a fabulous collection of documents, many of which have never seen the light even in their native language, but now come to print directly from archives mediated only by expert selection and translation. A huge of amount of strife-filled past life comes alive in these texts, and the transcripts or synopses of inquests and processes, constituting the written record, make for compelling reading."

Audience: General/trade;