Magic in Medieval Manuscripts

By Sophie Page

© 2017

Magic existed in diverse forms in the Middle Ages, from simple charms to complex and subversive demonic magic. Its negative characteristics were defined by theologians who sought to isolate undesirable rituals and beliefs, but there were also many who believed that the condemned texts and practices were valuable and compatible with orthodox piety.

Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world and the contradictory responses it evoked, through an exploration of images and texts in British Library manuscripts. These range from representations of the magician, wise-woman and witch, to charms against lightning, wax images for inciting love, and diagrams to find treasure. Most elaborate of all the magical practices are rituals for communicating with and commanding spirits. Whether expressions of piety, ambition, or daring, these rituals reveal a medieval fascination with the points of contact between this world and the celestial and infernal realms.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • North American Rights
  • Page Count: 112 pages
  • Illustrations: 50
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 8.0in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 15182

Book Formats

SKU# SP004849

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2017

    From: $18.82

    Regular Price: $28.95

    ISBN 9781487502942

Quick Overview

With fascinating illustrations from the British Library’s rich Medieval collections, Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world.

Magic in Medieval Manuscripts

By Sophie Page

© 2017

Magic existed in diverse forms in the Middle Ages, from simple charms to complex and subversive demonic magic. Its negative characteristics were defined by theologians who sought to isolate undesirable rituals and beliefs, but there were also many who believed that the condemned texts and practices were valuable and compatible with orthodox piety.

Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world and the contradictory responses it evoked, through an exploration of images and texts in British Library manuscripts. These range from representations of the magician, wise-woman and witch, to charms against lightning, wax images for inciting love, and diagrams to find treasure. Most elaborate of all the magical practices are rituals for communicating with and commanding spirits. Whether expressions of piety, ambition, or daring, these rituals reveal a medieval fascination with the points of contact between this world and the celestial and infernal realms.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • North American Rights
  • Page Count: 112 pages
  • Illustrations: 50
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 8.0in
  • Author Information

    Sophie Page is a lecturer in the Department of History at University College London.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    1. The Medieval Magician 
    2. Natural Magic
    3. The Power of Magic
    4. The Magical Universe
    5. Necromancy & Sorcery

    Bibliography

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