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Magic in Medieval Manuscripts

Medieval Manuscripts S.

By (author) Sophie Page
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division, London, United Kingdom
Published: 1st Aug 2004
Dimensions: w 246mm h 176mm
ISBN-10: 0712348131
ISBN-13: 9780712348133
Barcode No: 9780712348133
Magic existed in diverse forms in the Middle Ages: from simple charms to complex and subversive demonic magic. Its negative characteristics were defined by theologians who sought to isolate undesirable rituals and beliefs, but there were also many who believed that the condemned texts and practices were valuable and compatible with orthodox piety. Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world and the contradictory responses it evoked, through an exploration of images and texts in British Library manuscripts. These range from representations of the magician, wise-woman and witch to charms against lightning, wax images for inciting love and diagrams to find treasure. Most elaborate of all the magical practices are rituals for communicating with and commanding spirits. Whether expressions of piety, ambition or daring, these rituals reveal a medieval fascination with the points of contact between this world and the celestial and infernal realms.

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