Artes Magicae

Verschenen in 2017:


Verschenen in 2016:

Brewer, Keagan, Wonder and Skepticism in the Middle Ages. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 236 p.

“This book explores the response by medieval society to tales of marvels and the supernatural, which ranged from firm belief to outright rejection, and asks why the believers believed, and why the skeptical disbelieved. Despite living in a world whose structures more often than not supported belief, there were still a great many who disbelieved, most notably scholastic philosophers who began a polemical programme against belief in marvels.

The author reevaluates the Middle Ages’ reputation as an era of credulity by considering the evidence for incidences of marvels, miracles and the supernatural and demonstrating the reasons people did and did not believe in such things. Using an array of contemporary sources, he shows that medieval responders sought evidence in the commonality of a report, similarity of one event to another, theological explanations and from people with status to show that those who believed in marvels and miracles did so only because the wonders had passed evidentiary testing. In particular, he examines both emotional and rational reactions to wondrous phenomena, and why some were readily accepted and others rejected.”

Carter, Jessica, “The Scapegoat: Impotence and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages”, Waterloo Historical Review, 8 (2016)

“This essay investigates the question of how women were used as scapegoats for male impotence during the Witch Craze. It analyzes the two medical treatises Trotula and the Secrets of Woman comparing and contrasting how each text prescribe treatments towards the female sex. The perceptions and ideals conveyed in these medical treatises provide an explanation as to why women were placed in a vulnerable position and targeted for threatening male masculinity.”

Casey, Abigail, “Magic and Medicine in a Man’s World: The Medieval Woman as both Healer and Witch”, Proceedings of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), (2016), 1515-1524

“Medieval women live in the shadows of literary remembrance. Primary literature, much of it written by men, does little to give us an intimate knowledge of women’s work and lives. Nonetheless, they were an integral part of medieval life, particularly in the delivery of health care. Operating within the sphere of the home or the nunnery, women were largely responsible for tending to common ailments, treating childhood diseases, and attending to women in labor. With no formal education, they based their medical care in the practical application of botanical compounds, and religious and secular superstition. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, universities began offering medical educations to male students, and formally-trained male physicians began practicing alongside nurses and midwives with informal training. This paper intends to show that a new combination of competition and deeply rooted antagonism towards the female sex tilted the public perception of women healers from well-respected necessities to witches and charlatans. This project explores the conflicting images of women as healers and women as charlatans, in reference to medieval gender conflicts, through a collective analysis of primary literature, including texts by Trotula, Hildegard of Bingen, and Jacqueline Felicie, as well as art from the Middle Ages.”

Eroticism in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Magic, Marriage, and Midwifery, I. Moulton (red.). Turnhout: Brepols, 2016, xv + 171 p., geïllustreerd. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 39.

“The essays in this volume explore varied manifestations of medieval and early modern sexuality. Magic rings; seductive she-devils; satyrs bound and whipped on stage; a woman sexually coerced in the confessional; a boy caught masturbating over a midwifery manual; a marriage of true minds between two men; a prince led to repentance at the sight of a naked girl prepared to give her life for his. These varied manifestations of medieval and early modern sexuality — each at the center of one of the essays in this volume — suggest the ubiquity and diversity of eroticism in the period. The erotic is the stuff of legend, but also of daily life. It is inextricable from relations of power and subordination and is plays a fundamental role in the heirarchical social structures of the period. The erotic is also very much a part of the spiritual realm, often in morally ambiguous ways. The seven essays collected in this volume explore the role the erotic played in early modern notions of happiness or fulfillment, in clerical life, in Jewish legend, heretical magic and Christian marriage, in poetry, on the public stage, and in medical manuals.” (zie ook onder Medicina)

La Formule au Moyen Âge
ii. Formulas in Medieval Culture ii, Isabelle Draelants en Christelle Balouzat-Loubet (red.). Turnhout: Brepols, 2015, 516 p. ARTEM, 23. (zie ook onder Medicina)

RECENSIE door Marlène Helias-Baron, Le Moyen Âge, revue d’histoire et de philologie, CXXII (2016), 451-453

Heiles, Marco, “Eine Unbeachtete Deutsche Chiromantie in Der Landesbibliothek Linz”, Zeitschrift fuer deutsches Altertum und Literatur, 145 (2016), 70-81

“Kommentar und Edition der deutschsprachigen Chiromantie in der Handschrift Linz, Landesbibliothek, Hs. 139 (um 1464).”

Machielsen, Jan en Martin Delrio, Demonology and Scholarship in the Counter-Reformation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 441 p. British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs.

RECENSIE door Jetze Touber, BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, 131 (2016), aflevering 2 review 28

Otten, Johan, Duivelskwartier: 1595. Heksen, heren en de dood in het vuur. Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2015, 438 pp.

RECENSIE door Jan Machielsen, BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, 131 (2016), aflevering 2 review 18

Prenostica Socratis Basilei
, Alberto Alonso Guardo (ed.) en Nicolas Negrilic (vert.). Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2015, 223 p. Textes littéraires du Moyen Âge, 35; Divinatoria, 4. (zie ook onder Medicina)

RECENSIE door Isabelle Draelants, Le Moyen Âge, revue d’histoire et de philologie, CXXII (2016), 477-481


Verschenen in 2015:

Chardonnens, Lasló Sándor, “Het magische zegel van kasteel Doornenburg”, Madoc, 29 (2015), 130-138

“Hoewel Kasteel Doornenburg, bekend van de televisieserie Floris, middeleeuwser oogt dan menig middeleeuws kasteel, was het splinternieuw toen Floris er in 1968 werd opgenomen. De Doornenburg speelde in het verleden namelijk geen grote strategische rol, totdat het in 1944 een Duitse observatiepost werd en in 1945 door geallieerde bommenwerpers met de grond gelijk werd gemaakt. De naoorlogse wederopbouw maakt niet alleen dat het kasteel er fris uitziet, maar leidde ook tot de vondst van een magisch zegel dat in een baksteen was verstopt. Deze werd eerder in verband gebracht met de zwart-magische Clavicula Salomonis (Sleutel van Salomo). Recent onderzoek wijst echter uit dat het zegel de vroegst bekende materiële getuige is van een goddelijk-magische traditie uit het obscure Liber iuratus Honorii (Gezworen boek van Honorius).”

Klaassen, Frank, The Transformations of Magic: Illicit Learned Magic in the Later Middle Ages and the Renaissance. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013, 280 p.

RECENSIE door Margaret B. Lewis, The Historian, (2015), 173-174

Koopmans, Jelle, “Middeleeuwse automaten”, Madoc, 29 (2015), 155-161

Hoewel er veel is geschreven over automaten in de narratieve literatuur, heeft men zich daarbij zelden afgevraagd in hoeverre die wonderbaarlijke machines in de literatuur ook een relatie konden hebben met enige werkelijk bestaande automaten. Koopmans staat in dit artikel stil bij een uitgebreide beschrijving in het rekeningenboek van de hertogen van Bourgondië van onderhoud en reparaties aan het befaamde automatenpark in Hesdin. Koopmans stelt voor om samen met gamedesigners eens met dit document aan de slag te gaan.

Physical Evidence for Ritual Acts, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Christian Britain: A Feeling for Magic
, Ronald Hutton (ed.). Palgrave MacMillan, 2015, 261 p.

This volume investigates the physical evidence for magic in medieval and modern Britain, including ritual mark, concealed objects, amulets, and magical equipment.

Truitt, Elly Rachel, Medieval robots: mechanism, magic, nature, and art. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015, 296 p., geïllustreerd

“Medieval Robots recovers the forgotten history of fantastical, aspirational, and terrifying machines that captivated Europe in imagination and reality between the ninth and fourteenth centuries. E. R. Truitt traces the different forms of self-moving or self-sustaining manufactured objects from their earliest appearances in the Latin West through centuries of mechanical and literary invention. Chronicled in romances and song as well as histories and encyclopedias, medieval automata were powerful cultural objects that probed the limits of natural philosophy, illuminated and challenged definitions of life and death, and epitomized the transformative and threatening potential of foreign knowledge and culture.”


Verschenen in 2014:

Lawrence-Mathers, Anne en Carolina Escobar-Vargas, Magic and medieval society. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014, 178 p.

“This book presents a thematic approach to the topic of magic and sorcery in Western Europe between the eleventh and the fifteenth century. It aims to provide readers with the conceptual and documentary tools to reach informed conclusions as to the existence, nature, importance and uses of magic in medieval society. Contrary to some previous approaches, the authors argue that magic is inextricably connected to other areas of cultural practice and was found across medieval society. Therefore, the book is arranged thematically, covering topics such as the use of magic at medieval courts, at universities and within the medieval Church itself.”

The Occult World
, Christopher Partridge (ed.). Abingdon: Routledge, 2014, 780 p., geïllustreerd

“This volume presents students and scholars with a comprehensive overview of the fascinating world of the occult. It explores the history of Western occultism, from ancient and medieval sources via the Renaissance, right up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and contemporary occultism. Written by a distinguished team of contributors, the essays consider key figures, beliefs and practices as well as popular culture.”

Santing, Catrien, “Orakelende talking heads“, Madoc, 28 (2014), 166-168

De auteur staat stil bij de beruchte brazen heads uit de Middeleeuwen. Deze brazen heads golden in hun tijd als toppunt van zwarte kunsten.

Wüstefeld, Helen, “Hoe een heks een koning ten val brengt”, in: Kennis in beeld. Denken en doen in de Middeleeuwen, 152-159


Verschenen in 2013:

Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition
, Gideon Bohak, Yuval Harari, Shaul Shaked (ed.). Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2011, 396 p. Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture, 15.

RECENSIE door Reimund Leicht Harari en Dan Levene, Book Reviews, 13 (2013),289-321

Page, Sophie, Magic in the Cloister: Pious Motives, Illicit Interests, and Occult Approaches to the Medieval Universe. University Park: Penn State Press, 2013, 248 p., geïllustreerd

“During the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries a group of monks with occult interests donated what became a remarkable collection of more than thirty magic texts to the library of the Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine’s in Canterbury. The monks collected texts that provided positive justifications for the practice of magic and books in which works of magic were copied side by side with works of more licit genres. In this book, Sophie Page uses this collection to explore the gradual shift toward more positive attitudes to magical texts and ideas in medieval Europe. She examines what attracted monks to magic texts, works, and how they combined magic with their intellectual interests and monastic life.”

Rider, Catherine, Magic and religion in medieval England. Londen: Reaktion Books, 2013, 224 p., geïllustreerd

“From today’s perspective it is hard to comprehend just how complex the relationship was between religion and magic in the Middle Ages. Many unofficial rituals and beliefs existed alongside ones sanctioned by the Church. Educated clergy condemned some as magic, but it wasn’t always easy to do this because many magical and superstitious practices employed religious language, rituals or objects. Charms recited over the sick to cure illnesses often invoked God and the saints; spells for love and other purposes might use consecrated substances such as the Eucharist. The people reaching for them could even justify their actions by citing biblical precedent.

In this book Catherine Rider unearths previously unpublished evidence and new information concerning the widespread use of magical practices and the clergy’s response. She asks how educated churchmen, when faced with a wide range of popular religious practices, decided which were acceptable and which were magic. How did they persuade others of their views? This book traces the change in the Church’s attitude to vernacular forms of magic from the turbulent era of King John to the time of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. These three centuries brought educated clergy into closer contact than ever before with unofficial religious practices and prompted them to draw up more precise guidelines on how to distinguish magic from legitimate religion.”

Ritual Healing. Magic, Ritual and Medical Therapy from Antiquity until the Early 
Modern Period, Ildikó Csepregi en Charles Burnett (red.). Florence: SISMEL – Ed. del Galuzzo, 2012, 221 p. Micrologus Library, 48. (zie ook onder Medicina)

RECENSIE door Alessandra Foscati, Le Moyen Âge, revue d’histoire et de philologie, CXIX (2013), 240-241

Véronèse, Julien, L’Almandal et l’Almadel latins au Moyen Âge. Introduction et éditions critiques. Florence: SISMEL – Ed. del Galluzzo, 2012, 239 p. Micrologus’ Library, 46.

RECENSIE door Béatrice Delaurenti, Le Moyen Âge, revue d’histoire et de philologie, CXIX (2013), 483-484

Weill-Parot, Nicolas, Points aveugles de la nature. La rationalité scientifique médiévale face à l’occulte, l’attraction magnétique et l’horreur du vide (XIIIe– milieu du XVe siècle). Paris: Belles Lettres, 2013, 652 p. Histoire.

RECENSIE door Julien Véronèse, Le Moyen Âge, revue d’histoire et de philologie, CXIX (2013), 794-795