Entangled Magic in the Medieval Latin West
Keywords:magic, necromancy, cosmology, superstition, astrology
This article focusses on the history of learned magic in late medieval Europe, breaking a period of about 500 years into chronological stages to explore how medieval supporters and critics of magic represented the art and responded to each other’s arguments, then reframed their own in a continuous dynamic entanglement. In this period learned magic texts from diverse religious and cosmological traditions (primarily Christian, Jewish, Arabic and Greco-Roman) circulated among people familiar with, and emotionally invested in, a great variety of institutional and informal rituals. Sources reveal a vibrant culture of exchanges of texts between members of religious orders, physicians and lay men, clerics and lay women – a culture of entanglement: discussion, borrowing, critique and adaptation alongside practitioner-client relationships and necessary secrecy and concealment.
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