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BOOK REVIEW: Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History You Weren’t Taught in School

A review of Dominic Selwood’s, ‘Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History you Weren’t Taught in School’

Witchcraft Trials In Sweden: With Neighbours Like These, Who Needs Enemies?!

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…

Trolls in the Middle Ages

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?

How Witches Looked in Medieval Art

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.

‘Hag of the Castle:’ Women, Family, and Community in Later Medieval Ireland

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.

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!

The American Dark Ages and the Terrorist Witch in Season of the Witch

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.

Devil Worship in the Middle Ages

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.

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.

Myths and mandrakes

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.

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.

Fossils as Drugs: pharmaceutical palaeontology

The present paper surveys the medicinal applications of a number of fossils which were well known in classical, mediaeval and renaissance times….

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