The Astronomer and the Witch: Kepler’s Mother


Professor Ulinka Rublack FBA

In 1615 Katharina Kepler, illiterate mother of the astronomer Johannes Kepler, was accused of being a witch.

At that time in Germany, there was a witch ‘craze’. Over half of the c.50,000 executions in Europe for witchcraft between 1500 and 1700 took place in Germany. During the next 6 years Katharina fought her accusation.

The astronomer took over her legal defence in 1620. This lecture explored this astonishing story, and asked how the witch craze affected people’s lives.


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