Article

Magic and its Hazards in the Late Medieval West

Richard Kieckhefer

in The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199578160
Published online May 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199578160.013.0002

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Magic and its Hazards in             the Late Medieval West

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This article examines the various forms of magic known in medieval Europe, focusing on those features that made it suspect and led to censure, prohibition, and prosecution. It suggests connections or disconnections between the prescriptive texts of the magicians themselves, the proscriptive texts of their opponents, and the descriptive literature (including judicial records) that claims to recount actual instances of magical activity. The article deals not simply with beliefs or with trials, but with the link between the two: the patterns of behaviour and perception that made it likely for magic to fall under suspicion and for the magician to be brought to trial.

Keywords: medieval Europe; magic; magicians; trials; suspicion; beliefs

Article.  9617 words. 

Subjects: History ; European History ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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