European Magic and Witchcraft: A Reader

Edited by Martha Rampton

© 2018

Magic, witches, and demons have drawn interest and fear throughout human history. In this comprehensive primary source reader, Martha Rampton traces the history of our fascination with magic and witchcraft from the first through to the seventeenth century. In over 80 readings presented chronologically, Rampton demonstrates how understandings of and reactions toward magic changed and developed over time, and how these ideas were influenced by various factors such as religion, science, and law. The wide-ranging texts emphasize social history and include early Merovingian law codes, the Picatrix, Lombard’s Sentences, The Golden Legend, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. By presenting a full spectrum of source types including hagiography, law codes, literature, and handbooks, this collection provides readers with a broad view of how magic was understood through the medieval and early modern eras.

Rampton’s introduction to the volume is a passionate appeal to students to use tolerance, imagination, and empathy when travelling back in time. The introductions to individual readings are deliberately minimal, providing just enough context so that students can hear medieval voices for themselves.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures
  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000629

  • PUBLISHED MAY 2018
    From: $49.95
    ISBN 9781442634206
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    From: $100.00
    ISBN 9781442634213
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2018
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Quick Overview

Magic, witches, and demons have drawn interest and fear throughout human history. In this comprehensive primary source reader, Martha Rampton traces the history of our fascination with magic and witchcraft from the first through to the seventeenth century.

European Magic and Witchcraft: A Reader

Edited by Martha Rampton

© 2018

Magic, witches, and demons have drawn interest and fear throughout human history. In this comprehensive primary source reader, Martha Rampton traces the history of our fascination with magic and witchcraft from the first through to the seventeenth century. In over 80 readings presented chronologically, Rampton demonstrates how understandings of and reactions toward magic changed and developed over time, and how these ideas were influenced by various factors such as religion, science, and law. The wide-ranging texts emphasize social history and include early Merovingian law codes, the Picatrix, Lombard’s Sentences, The Golden Legend, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. By presenting a full spectrum of source types including hagiography, law codes, literature, and handbooks, this collection provides readers with a broad view of how magic was understood through the medieval and early modern eras.

Rampton’s introduction to the volume is a passionate appeal to students to use tolerance, imagination, and empathy when travelling back in time. The introductions to individual readings are deliberately minimal, providing just enough context so that students can hear medieval voices for themselves.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures
  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "A stupendous contribution to an already outstanding series of thematic primary source readers. Gripping selections from theological, legal, literary, artistic, and, of course, magical sources demonstrate the many ways people have conceived of and reacted to the occult and supernatural. This reader will be indispensable for all students of the history of premodern European magic and witchcraft."


    Michael A. Ryan, University of New Mexico

    "Anyone seeking an anthology of magic and witchcraft sources that spans the full temporal range from antiquity to the early modern period need look no further. The well-considered study questions that appear at the end of each reading make this collection perfect for the classroom."


    David Porreca, University of Waterloo
  • Author Information

    Martha Rampton is Professor of History at Pacific University. She concentrates on the early medieval period with an emphasis on social history and the activities and roles of women. She is the founder and director of the Pacific University Center for Gender Equality.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements

    Preface

    Chapter One: Late Classical and Early Christian Archetypes
    1. Moses and Aaron Challenge Pharaoh’s Magicians
    2. The Pythoness Brings the Dead to Life: The Witch of Endor
    3. Odysseus and Circe the Sorceress
    4. Medea: The Classic Witch
    5. Erictho: Divination through the Dead
    6. Simon Magus: Money for Miracles
    7. Goddess Diana of the Ephesians Bests the Apostle Paul
    8. Hecate and the Chaldean Oracles
    9. Magic Transforms One into a Bird, Another into an Ass
    10. Justin Martyr and the Fallen Angels
    11. The Apostle Peter Bests Simon Magus
    12. Antony of the Desert Combats Demons
    13. Curse Tablets and Binding Spells
    14. Saint Martin Battles with Pagans and Demons
    15. Augustine: Demons and Magic in the City of God

    Chapter Two: Post-Roman Kingdoms of Europe: Traffic with Demons (500–750)
    16. Three Post-Roman Law Codes against Malicious Magic
    17. Caesarius of Arles Preaches against Magic and Paganism
    18. Continuity in Magic Spells
    19. A Warning to Peasants about the Evils of Trafficking with Demons
    20. Sorcery in Gregory of Tours’s Sixth-Century Gaul
    21. Saint Patrick Battles Pagan Magicians
    22. Early Medieval Sainthood and Demons: Saint Radegund
    23. Isidore of Seville Defines Magic: The Etymologies
    24. Penance for Sins of Magic
    25. A Demoniac in Early Medieval England: Bede

    Chapter Three: The Carolingian Dynasty: Demons Cut Down to Size (750–1000)
    26. An Eighth-Century List of Pagan Practices
    27. Paganism of the Saxons
    28. Beowulf Fights the Demons: Grendel, and Grendel’s Mother
    29. Agobard of Lyons and Weather Magic
    30. Carolingian Catalogue of Magical Acts: Council of Paris
    31. Treatise on Magic: Hrabanus Maurus
    32. Magic at the Court of Louis the Pious: Paschasius Radbertus
    33. The Devil of Kempten and the Villager
    34. Marriage and Magic: The Divorce of Lothar
    35. Loosed Women and Night Flight: Canon episcopi
    36. Anglo-Saxon Healing Cures and Charms
    37. Anglo-Saxon Sermon against Augury: Aelfric of Eynsham
    38. A Prayer to Mother Earth and Other Charms
    39. An Eleventh-Century Penitential: Burchard of Worms

    Chapter Four: The High Middle Ages: Many Threads (1000–1300)
    40. Evil Angels: Lombard’s Sentences
    41. Divination and the Court: The Policraticus
    42. Lanval and the Fairy Queen: Marie de France
    43. The Gentle Werewolf: Marie de France
    44. Guide for the Perplexed: Jewish Magic and Maimonides
    45. Weather Well and Magic Ring: Chrétien de Troyes
    46. Norse Magic: Saga of the Volsungs
    47. Magic as a Cautionary Tale: Caesarius of Heisterbach
    48. A Saintly Dog and the Changelings
    49. Picatrix: Arabic Magic
    50. Astronomy: Natural Magic or Necromancy?
    51. The Golden Legend: Saints and Devils
    52. Heresy versus Sorcery
    53. A New Kind of Devil: Thomas Aquinas

    Chapter Five: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: Diabolism
    54. A Priest Dupes His Friend with a Promise of Magic in The Decameron
    55. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    56. Key to Occult Mysteries of Solomon
    57. Clerical Magic: A Handbook
    58. A Warning to the People of Siena to Expunge Witches from the City
    59. Trial of Joan of Arc
    60. Witch Beliefs Coalesce: Formicarius
    61. The Ordinal of Alchemy
    62. Natural Magic and Renaissance Humanism: Oration on the Dignity of Man
    63. Pope Innocent VIII Empowers the Inquisitors
    64. The Witch Hammer

    Chapter Six: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: The Full Fury of the Witch-Hunts
    65. Defending the Harvest: The Cult of the Benandanti
    66. In Praise of Natural Magic: Cornelius Agrippa
    67. Martin Luther’s Devil
    68. Papists, Popedom, and Witchery: John Calvin
    69. A Voice of Skepticism from the Medical Profession: Johann Weyer
    70. Witch Persecutions in Trier
    71. Charms, Tricks, and Day-to-Day Sorcery
    72. Demon Mania in France: Jean Bodin
    73. Mechanics of Torture: Dr. Fian and Suzanne Gaudry
    74. King James and the Witches of North Berwick: “News from Scotland”
    75. Skepticism and a Forced Recantation
    76. King James I of England: Treatise on Demons and Witchcraft
    77. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    78. Shakespeare’s Witches: Macbeth
    79. A Jacobean Comedy
    80. The Witches’ Sabbath
    81. Persecution of the Burgomaster of Bamberg
    82. The Witches of Würzburg
    83. Witch Panic in Bonn
    84. In Defense of the Accused
    85. The Demonic Possession of the Nuns of Loudun
    86. England’s Witch Finder General

    Sources
    Index of Topics