BOOK REVIEW: The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau

Joanna Stafford, our intrepid ex-Dominican super sleuth is at it again. This time, she’s hurled straight into the midst of plotting and deception at Henry VIII’s court.

Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

10 Terrifying Reads for Halloween!

Here are some spooky medieval books for you to celebrate with over Halloween!

Medieval Byzantine Magical Amulets and Their Tradition

A diverse yet distinctive group of magical amulets has periodically attracted the attention of scholars from Renaissance times to the present. The amulets take many forms, including engraved gems and cameos, enamel pendants, die-struck bronze tokens, cast or engraved pendants of gold, silver, bronze, and lead, and rings of silver and bronze.

“Vir sapiens dominabitur astris”. Astrological knowledge and practices in the Portuguese medieval court (King João I to King Afonso V)

Offers a brief explanation on the foundations of medieval astrology. Astrology reveals itself as a complex body of knowledge, with specific rules and methods. Its principles were based on the natural movement of the celestial bodies: the rising and setting of the Sun, the sequence of the seasons, the phases of the Moon.

The Light was retreating before Darkness: Tales of the Witch hunt and climate change

Little by little, out of the old conviction —pagan and Christian— of evil interference in atmospheric phenomena evolved the belief that some people may use malign sorcery to set off whirlwinds hail, frosts, floods and other destructive weather events.

The historical basis of Lycanthropism or: where do Werewolves come from?

Werewolves, Lycanthropes or Man-Wolves appear in many German, French and Scandinavian stories. Nowadays there exists an image of these creatures, which combines almost all the aspects of the werewolf-myths around the world, that was brought to us by Hollywood.

Magical Dream Provocation in the Later Middle Ages

Hidden in the manuscripts of illicit magic we may find a hitherto untreated practical literature of dream divination…this literature sets out to provoke specific kinds of dreams.

Medieval Halloween! Great books for Ghosts, Goblins, Witches & Ghouls!

Some spooktacular reads to celebrate Medieval Halloween!

Jewish Lightning Rod: Between Magic and Science

People learned how to “tie up a portion of lightning” only recently. We have no information aboutany experiments of medieval scientists with lightnings, and even the fundamental dictionary of thehistory of science by Mayerhöfer is silent about it.

“A Swarm in July”: Beekeeping Perspectives on the Old English Wið Ymbe Charm

At the same time, however, their differing responses to the remedy attest both to the variation of beekeeping practices and the multivalence of Wið Ymbe itself. The fact that two beekeepers interviewed within two days and two hundred miles of each other can respond differently to the charm’s advice on swarms suggests that we reevaluate unilateral assertions regarding what the text might have meant across the hundreds of years that we now know as the Anglo-Saxon period.

From Magic to Maleficium: The Crafting of Witchery in Late Medieval Text

This paper will elucidate the importance of the interdependency among maleficium, gender, heresy and church doctrine in the cauldron of witch fears which bubbled forth in the late middle ages and boiled over in the early modern world.

Painful Restoration: Transformations of Life and Death in Medieval Visions of the Other World

Bearing in mind this distinction, we must be aware of the fact that, in the context of the Christian religion, we are dealing with the fundamental concept of a double life—the life of the body and the life of the soul; and consequently with a double death—the death of the body and the death of the soul.

The Demonology of William of Auvergne

William believed that a demonic conspiracy existed to deceive humans into false worship, and his concerns led him to precisely define the capabilities of demons according to the latest scientific views of spirits, to characterize opinions with which he disagreed as demonic lies and to label their holders as demonic dupes.

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