How was magic practised in medieval times? How did it relate to the diverse beliefs and practices that characterised this fascinating period?. How was magic practiced in medieval times? How did it relate to the diverse beliefs and practices that characterized this fascinating period? Richard Kieckhefer. ‘Richard Kieckhefer offers a panoramic view of a very diverse set of problems in his cogently organised and revealing book imaginative and stimulating ‘.

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It is well written and easy to understand, and there is no agenda. May 20, Sabine rated it liked it Recommended kidckhefer Sabine by: Adopting an interdisciplinary approach Professor Kieckhefer has taken magic from its cultural isolation and placed it firmly at the crossroads of medieval culture, as a focal point for our understanding of many other aspects of medieval history. The former is a foreign import, derived from Islamic culture; the latter is essentially a domestic product, long established within Christendom.

Selected pages Title Page. Having said this, many charms did also contain pre-Christian elements and their evolution is described.

Magic in the Middle Ages (Richard Kieckhefer) – book review

No trivia or quizzes yet. The sagas often ended with the sorcerer outlawed, partly because magic mgic a sneaky and underhanded technique.

Described are the basic tenants of Astrology which differ somewhat to modern popular conceptions. A clerical underground is described as a mixture of young clerics, chantry priests, monks and Friars, and what connected them was broadly a combination of free time and partial or incomplete training.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Dec 12, frogfairie rated it liked it. Apr 14, Alannah Clarke rated it it was ok Shelves: He examines its relation to religion, science, philosophy, art, literature and politics before introducing us to the different types of magic that were used, the kinds of people who practised magic and the reasoning behind their beliefs.

This textbook deals with magic, both natural midddle demonic, within the broad context of medieval culture. It is in depth, extremely jn and enjoyable. Unsurprisingly, weddings were the most governed by it, since they are a lot easier to schedule than battles. The chapter on necromancy is the most original, based largely on unpublished manuscripts and arguing mabic a new interpretation of the material.


Magic in the Middle Ages

In fact, one of the more interesting things one could take away from this book is how much magic and the mystical arts were largely the preserve of churchmen and elites who wanted to preserve its status as a special thing that only they got to do!

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Healing was a big component of this genre and we find various people using what we might call healing magic, though it is unlikely that we would hear the practitioners use this term. The start of the book is broadly concerned with defining magic and also exploring how magic has been perceived since Antiquity.

In addition, he shows how magic served as a point of contact between the popular and elite classes, how the reality of magical beliefs is reflected in the fiction of medieval literature, and how the persecution of magic and witchcraft led to changes in the law.

Want to Read saving…. Ij physical book is deceptively thin because the font is small, but inside is a wealth of information. He offers up kievkhefer fairly thorough set of studies into what at various times has constituted ‘magic’ and the manners in which it has been conceived, employed, and often punished.

References to this book The Beginnings of Western Science: Black and white illustrations though. I chose to leave 3 stars, as the author is quite knowledgeable and did an excellent job at covering the important topics, but maybe a less “dry” approach kueckhefer help the book to become what it could be.

May 25, Heather Jones rated it really liked it. Entertaining and easy to read. Picked up as research for my historical fantasy novels.

A really thorough introduction to the topic. Moral and theological condemnation I8 I. Even though I’ve read a lot about witchcraft, magic and the occult in early modern times, I found the book interesting. Often, it is impossible to separate the two because magic often had a heavy Christian component, both in practice and conception. It connects natural forces, science, the stars, etc. Homer’s Odysseus had to face the enchantments cast by Circe on his companions transformed into pigs miiddle her island; to which Odysseus countered with a protecting magical herb provided by Hermes.


Charms prayers, blessings, and exorcisms were considered magic by some, though most probably worried about whether rather than how they worked. Necromancy is the subject of this chapter. We also see a different type of magic emerge, with automations and magical gems. The chapter then goes on to discuss the moralist concerns and the sequence of events start to head steadily downhill from here. Kieckhefer approaches also several instances of Middle Age literature ‘romances’ and, kieckheger, the question lingers on: Kieckhefer’s prose is clear but midsle to create a sense of mystique that is so intertwined with the subject matter, despite his many kieckhefef examples o For those wondering what flavour of academia they are getting into with this book, it is a dense but very readable undergraduate-level introduction to the midcle.

I think you would enjoy this material if you enjoy more if you enjoy that style of writing.

My library Help Advanced Book Kiekchefer. Manuale molto interessante, che tratta la storia della magia medievale in modo dettagliato. I didn’t quite make it all the way through this one before I had to take it back to the library, and I was not about to expand the energy to renew it. The book agws fine, I am however a fiction reader who is trying my hardest to read at least one non fiction a month.

Quotes from Magic in the Midd An intensive treatment of the subject drawing on a lot of primary sources. The sources for necromancy. His publications include European Witch Trials: