What Is a Warlock?
A warlock is a male witch, wizard, or sorcerer with supposed super natural powers, usually considered to be evil. The most commonly accepted etymology derives warlock from the Old English wǣrloga meaning “oathbreaker” or “deceiver”. However, in early modern Scots, the word came to be used as the male equivalent of witch (which can be male or female, but is used predominantly for females).
From this use, the word passed into Romantic literature and ultimately 20th-century popular culture. A derivation from the Old Norse varð-lokkur, “caller of spirits”, has also been suggested. Belief in witchcraft survives in modern civilized societies and remains a strong force in most primitive ones. Throughout the western world most alleged witches have been women, and the number of warlocks has been comparatively few.
The last execution of one in Germany was that of Johannes Junius who was burned alive in 1628. On the other hand, one of the most famous figures in the history of magic and witchcraft is Merlin, the benevolent wizard of Arthurian legend. The earliest evidence of belief in witchcraft survives from the prehistoric past. A horned creature, thought to be connected with witchcraft, is to be found carved or painted at archaeological sites dating back to 30,000 B.C. and in areas spanning the territory from the former Soviet Union to Spain.