A review of Dominic Selwood’s, ‘Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History you Weren’t Taught in School’
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!
Everyone has “that” neighbour on their floor, or street who they’d secretly love to move to Mars and never see again. Well, the Early Modern Swedes had a way of dealing with those kinds of nasty neighbours…
Where did trolls come from? What did medieval and early modern people think of trolls? How did the concept of the modern day troll evolve?
I recently visited the British Museum and enjoyed their Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibit which runs until January 11th, 2015. It displays art depicting witches from the middle ages up to the late nineteenth century. This post looks at a few late medieval interpretations of witches and the artists behind these works.
In a letter written as part of his work for the Irish Department of the Ordnance Survey in 1840, Thomas O’Conor recorded his reaction to a “Sheela- na-gig” sculpture—the image of a naked woman shown exposing her genitalia (fig. 1)—that he saw on the old church at Kiltinane, Co. Tipperary.
This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.
Here are some spooky medieval books for you to celebrate with over Halloween!
In this article we argue that medieval films are not to be analyzed according to their faithfulness to the known historical sources, but that they can only be fully analyzed by understanding medievalist codes, traditions and (filmic) intertextuality.
The century or so from approximately 1550 to 1650 is a period during which witch-hunts reached unprecedented frequency and intensity. The circumstances that fomented the witch- hunts—persistent warfare, religious conflict, and harvest failures—had occurred before, but witch-hunts had never been so ubiquitous or severe.
Probably the most reasonable explanation of the Devil worship phenomenon at this time is a combination of both of these hypotheses. Lingering ideas of pre-Christian cults of Diana and the Homed God became entwined with the doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning evil.
This thesis focuses on the significance of blood and the perception of the body in both learned and popular culture in order to investigate problems of identity and social exclusion in early modern Europe.
Throughout the Middle Ages – especially the later Middle Ages – ideas of magic played a large part in the formation of deviant sexual behaviours and it was believed that magic played a main role in sexual malfunctions and abilities.
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.
Others, however, began to wonder whether the possession of roots might not bring them success in other areas as well—wealth, popularity, or the power to control their own and other people’s destinies, and took to wearing them as good luck charms.
It is this humanity in a monster that helps to show why these draugar fascinate us so much. The “others” that exist outside the boundaries of society: the weird old ladies that people label as evil witches, the misshapen, the “freaks” that Tod Browning made famous are funhouse mirror images of ourselves.
Within the orbit of witchcraft, what is the relationship between sexuality, heresy, and diabolism?
Although Joan’s trial took place in France and The Malleus Maleficarum was published in Germany, they are suitable for comparison because this text became the definitive manual for witchcraft inquisitors across Europe.
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.
My purpose in writing this article is to expose a different view of romantic relationships that exist in medieval literature, a view that is in opposition to courtly love.
Central to the aims of this thesis is the question “how did Porete „fit‟ the religious landscape of her period?” A seeming obstacle to this pursuit are claims from within the scholarship that Porete did not „fit‟ at all, but was, rather, as an aberration amidst other female mystics of the period.
It will be seen below that many of the legendary happenings on which belief in the curative powers of saints was based were ridiculously improbable or impossible.
This thesis examines the questions raised by Darrell‘s exorcisms and the ways in which they were shaped by relations of power. I hope that it will shed new light on the ways in which people formed their religious and ideological identities in this pivotal period in English history.
No one knew the risks and rewards of magic better than Agrippa. His notorious handbook, De occulta philosophia, circulated in manuscript by 1510, though it was printed only in 1533, over the complaints of Dominican inquisitors.