The sermon that makes this outrageous claim is a fake. It is one of hundreds, if not thousands of sermons that circulated in the Middle Ages using Augustine’s illustrious name as a way to guarantee a wide readership and make a bid for literary immortality.
Could you learn magic and become a powerful and evil wizard? In the Middle Ages you could, if you had a copy of Picatrix.
What can be more glorious, more tempting than the conquest of death?
What remains to be seen is how the populace of the middle-Byzantine Constantinople tried to ward off “barbarians” by resorting to the “magical properties” of bewitched statues.
In the Middle Ages, trolls were not really thought of a race or a species; that was a later development influenced by scientific taxonomy.
Once upon a time, in a mountainous region somewhere in Iceland, something strange took place that was at the same time puzzling and frightening: every year
I decided I wanted to know more about those “medieval fairies”: were there other Middle English poems where I could find them?
Here are five spells from the Galdrabók, which range from helpful to cruel!
The island is in fact loaded with medieval things, which I’ve decided to share with you here.
This lecture explores the value of archaeology in reconstructing lived religion as it was practised and experienced by medieval people.
The legendary saga giants are for the most part terrible and ugly. Some are also of incredible size, although no sources agree on how huge giants are.
A creature who seems to desecrate wells, a mountain in the shape of a man that rises out the sea, and a spiteful, laughing aquatic goblin: thus runs the cast of monsters found in the saga Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka.
You can find dozens of examples of spells and charms from medieval manuscripts to help prevent you from being a victim of theft, or to catch a thief.
The children have consistently been rejected as a freakish contortion of medieval superstition and generous imagination.
Axlar-Björn, or Björn of the farm Öxl, was executed in 1596 for having murdered at least 18 people.
What is it that you truly desire? How far are you prepared to go to get it? Would you, say, treasure it even more than your immortal soul?
Birthstones and their superpowers according to the Middle Ages
This paper introduces three cases of material signs of folk religion that archaeologists have discovered in the medieval soil layers of Turku
In medieval bestiaries, the Sirens are portrayed as deadly seducers who use their seductive songs to lure the sailors to sleep, and then attack them with sharp teeth and tear open their flesh.
Konungs skuggsjá explains the wonders of the strange waters around Greenland, a far corner of the medieval world.
When folklore began to emerge as a valid expression of a people during the early stages of national romanticism, it did so alongside texts and artifacts from the Middle Ages; it was only as folklore began to develop its own methodology during the nineteenth century that the fields were distinguished.
A husband ‘accidentally’ glimpses into his wife’s bedchamber only to discover that the lady whom he believed to be fair, noble, and undoubtedly human – is in fact a (partial) snake.
By Danièle Cybulskie I’ve often said that people in the Middle Ages shared the same hopes and fears that we do. Believe it…
People in the Middle Ages told tales of seeing and talking with ghosts. While these encounters could be quite scary, it was also an opportunity from them to learn about the afterlife.