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 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.
Love magic was used for a variety of purposes connected to love, sex and reproduction in the Middle Ages. It was most often used to arouse love or sexual desire, or to impede it by causing hatred or impotence.
This doctoral dissertation examines medicinal-magical amulets pertaining to the uterus and the protection of women and children, the accompanying tradition of magical texts, and the mythology and folktales of demons believed to kill children and parturient women.
Here are five spells from the Galdrabók, which range from helpful to cruel!
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.
Here are two completely different medieval methods you can use to render yourself invisible, so you can choose whichever one works best for you.
We add a little magic to this week’s list of new books about the Middle Ages.
This article proposes to discuss the extent to which medieval sources differentiate between an idea of applied technological knowledge, which could be close to our modern notion of science, and actual magic.
I intend to look at magic bowls in order to see how and for what purpose they were used, and to get a glimpse at the way they worked and what hidden treasures can be found within them.
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.
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.
When I decided to put pen to paper for a Tudor historical fiction story, I had no idea what I wanted to write. The subject has been analyzed and romanticized for five hundred years. What could I do that would be an original slant on this iconic subject matter? After having a look around I noticed that no one appears to have the exact moment of her execution. From there, the story began to slowly develop and present itself to me.
Sins of evil black magic, as listed by the medieval theologian Burchard of Worms in the 11th century.
St. Augustine’s Abbey can be viewed as a centre of magical studies in the late Middle Ages because of the large and diverse collection of magic texts present in the library, the number of monks interested in unorthodox studies and the ways in which magic was integrated within the monastic context
This article gives a brief introduction to the area of medieval ritual magic, outlining the main kinds of texts likely to be understood as belonging to the category – image magic, necromancy, and theurgy or angel magic.
This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.
How might the historian of religions write a social and religious history of Jewish magic in the medieval Islamicate world?
Saemund Sigfusson is the earliest of the Icelandic wizards. According to the annals he was born in the year 1056. He was educated in France and returned to Iceland in 1076 or 1078.
David Porreca examines how the magical spells found in the Picatrix made use of precious gems.
How to turn water into wine, make a cross turn by itself, or have worms appear on cooked meat – some fun medieval magic tricks!
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.
I exemplify this striving for ‘neutral’ research in this study of love magic, which starts with a case study on an episode from the Life of Saint Brigit.
Lecture by Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmad, American University in Cairo
This contribution focuses on miracle collections as a source for medieval magic for three reasons. The first is the very closeness of magic and miracles, for both seek to procure results which transcend nature, and to do this through the medium of a human practitioner.