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BOOK REVIEW: Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount

Our review of Toni Mount’s fascinating look at medicine in the Middle Ages in – Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount.

BOOK REVIEW: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.

Courtly Magic in the Middle Ages

The possibility of the everyday use of magic by courtiers is emphasized by the employment of magic advisors and, very frequently, astrologists. The medieval court was a place for the elite, and thus the educated sector of society at this time.

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!

INTERVIEW: A Conversation with SD Sykes about Plague Land

My interview with fiction author, SD Sykes about her fantastic medieval crime novel, Plague Land.

BOOK REVIEW: Plague Land by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes brilliant medieval thriller, Plague Land.

Apocalyptic Calculators of the Later Middle Ages

The purpose of my talk today is to explore why and how astrology became an accepted tool for apocalyptic calculation in the later Middle Ages.

The Origins of the Tale of the Blood Drinking Hungarians

The motif of the covenant of blood was quite widespread in West European chronicle literature, and it was not necessarily applied to Oriental peoples, nor particularly to Hungarians.

The Military Use of the Icon of the Theotokos and its Moral Logic in the Historians of the Ninth-Twelfth Centuries

Starting at least by the late tenth century, Byzantine emperors took icons of the Mother of God with them on campaign. This article examines the appearance of such icons in the narratives of historical texts.

Society and the Supernatural: A Medieval Change

The supernatural has become what Renan said it was: ‘The way in which the ideal makes its appearance in human affairs.’

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.

Magic for the dead? The archaeology of magic in later medieval burials

Was this magic healing or protective? Did it aim to safeguard the living or conjure the dead? Who were the recipients of such magical rites — and who was responsible for performing them?

“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.

Faerie Folklore in Medieval Tales: An Introduction

Defining the term ‘faerie’ is not easy; some definitions include only specific, pre-Christian types of mythological creatures while other definitions include all of the spirits, angels and supernatural animals as well as the souls of the dead. I will take a middle road and include the spirits and the souls of the dead, since the dead and the faeries have an intimate connection in the folklore of the British Isles.

Wraiths, Revenants and Ritual in Medieval Culture

‘When a human being dies, both flesh and bones die.’

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.

Monstrous transformations: loyalty and community in four medieval poems

I will examine two forms of transformation, the werewolf transformation and the monstrous human transformation, both of which feature shape shifters who presumably cannot be trusted

“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.

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