Del Rio, Martin Antoine (1551–1608)
Famous Jesuit scholar regarded as an authority on witchcraft
during the great persecutions of the sixteenth century.
Del Rio was born in 5551 at Antwerp, Belgium, of a distinguished
Spanish family. He studied classical literature and
works in Hebrew, Chaldean, and other languages. At age 19,
he published an edition of Seneca, and was only 24 when he beDeLouise,
Joseph Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
394
came vice-chancellor and attorney general for the Belgian
province of Brabant.
In 1580 he entered the Jesuit order, teaching at various Jesuit
centers and gathering material for his major work on witchcraft
and demonology, Disquisitionum Magicarum Libri Sex, published
in 1599. This encyclopedic work discusses magic,
alchemy, witchcraft, prophecy, and apparitions, and gives instructions
to judges at witchcraft trials, reviving the intolerance
caused a century earlier by the sinister Malleus Maleficarum
(1486) of Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer.
Del Rio died in 1608.
Sources
Del Rio, Martin Antoine. Disquisitionum Magicarum Libri Sex.
Moguntiae Typis Joannis Albini, 1600.