Vitali BYL

Academic Year:

Research Program:
PoM Pontica Magna

University of Greifswald



Research project: Witchcraft in the Cultural Borderland: Witch Trials in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 16th–18th Centuries

The project aims to study specifics of the witch-hunt in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as a case of cultural interaction in the borderland. The focus of the study is witch trials. The study argues a socio-cultural vision of the witch-hunt: a social conflict led to trial but cultural models of the time shaped the perception of it and the further reaction: a particular cultural situation of the epoch turned a social conflict into a witch trial. The research will figure out how the witch trials were held, what were social and cultural origins of them and which common and distinguished features characterized the Lithuanian witch-hunt. The study of similarities and differences of witch persecution in various milieus will shed light on the cultural bordering and interaction in the society. Pontica Magna Fellowship will be used to complete the Ph.D. project. The main outcome of the fellowship would be the final stage that generalize the Lithuanian experience and put it in a broader perspective.