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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Sept 23.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS389H1
Professor
Jane Abray
Semester
Fall

Description
HIS389H1F: Learned Magic Outline September 23, 2010 A very brief history of the masculine world of literate magic – literate anything very few women have contact - Masculine world filled with elements of magic and magic books, books are supposedly derived from very ancient roots (Ex: widespread belief that some of these books and information go back to the time of Noah and the Arch, Noah was the recipient of knowledge from angel and passed on to son Shem “treatise of Shem” – astrological work of how the heavens work – stream of beneficent stuff communicated by angel – astrological knowledge - Earliest written book of Sham – 1500 years old - Another line of descent from Noah and sons being demonic- other son Ham- possessor of a book on demonic magic – from a demon – he snuck it onto the Arch – one line of descent for information - Persians Zoroaster Noah, Raziel, Shem, Ham Zoroaster, Moses, King Solomon Byzantium- ancient Greece, roman period works floating around that mingle with texts from Arabic and jewish tradition = mix of Arabic, jewish, Christian, combined with Byzantium and Spain – Spain university towns: Toledo, Salamanca – good places to go to learn about magic (centres of high magic) Toledo, Salamanca - 2 streams of books- - one approved by church (healing manuals that will mix natural remedies and prayer)- Leechbooks - and one not approved – material that is necromantic – tell you how to conjure up the dead or demons Leechbooks: medical books that mix supernatural with natural remedies- because using leeches to bleed and cure (reason for the name) – Leechcraft has had a revival in modern medicine Necromancy/nigromancy- proper means raising the dead but there seems to be drift in the meaning of the word from conjuring up the dead to conjuring up any kind of demon – necro to negro (black magic) – linguistic slide Grimoires- texts collectively – originally in Latin – church tries hard to suppress Grimoires – difficult separation Popes with reputations for magic: Leo III (795-816)- pope in the late 8 and 9 century, contemporary of Charlemagne and provided Charlemagne (great first royal holy empire) with magical letters of protection, written objects that he could carry on his person to protect him. Silvester II (999-1003)- supposedly can call up spirits from hell so that he could raise the dead, talk with, extract information from, true necromancy Honorious III (1148-1227): confusion with an earlier magician? – two figures confounded – pope and magician Boniface VIII (1294-1303) – famous bull that claims it is absolutely necessary for salvation to be subject to roman pope Unam Sanctam ---- another famous bull that announces the lay rulers cannot text the clergies: Clericos laicos Avignon – more solid ground – put on trial for practicing demonic magic by own church, great defender of clergy against lay rulers, important figure for expanding claims for papal power - Struggle with King Phillip. Lay rulers did not approve! Move to Avignon – papal trial emerges- nothing much comes from it – no reason to believe Boniface was guilty John XXII, decretal, Super illius specula against “images, rings, mirrors, phials” etc; excerpted in Alan Kors and Edward Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), pp. 120-121. – Later popes are much more active in trying to bring back notion of demonic magic – John issued decretal that warns all Christians on having or having made images, rings, mirrors, viles, or other things for magical purposes or binding selves to demons… Necromancy: the world of the Grimoires - Forcefully condemned by John XXII - Prohibitions issued by church are very stern and do not do much - How to make condemnation operational? – Necromantic texts may have multiplied- found home in Kieckhefer- baptized clerical underworld - Richard Kieckhefer - “[A] surplus of clergy inevitably spawned an underemployed and largely unsupervised „clerical underworld‟ capable of various forms of mischief, including necromancy, and indeed this underworld seems to have been the primary locus for this explicitly demonic magic.” - “priests, perhaps especially those without full-time parish employment, as well as ordained monks with some education and esoteric interests, university students and others who had been received into minor orders.” Richard Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century (Sutton Publishing, 1997), p. 12 and p. 5 Bavarian State Library, Munich, Codex latinus monacensis 849 http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00037155/image_5 (The first surviving page of the manuscript discussed by Kieckhefer) - Manual from Munich has 3 main types of rituals or spells 1. Spells that allow you to create illusions, notion that the Devil can make us hallucinate –you could do it yourself with this manual 2. Rituals to exert psychological pressure- ways to arouse love and hate, curry favour with powerful, ways to constrain the will of others, magical rituals to make someone bad 3. Rituals that will give you hidden knowledge- let you know thins about the past not normally accessible, know things far far away, help you find hidden things (buried treasured) - Grimoire has no healing rituals! Interesting- it is all deception, manipulation - Illusion – master writes 6 magic names on the door of a vacant house at twilight, abandoned unpopulated places, house, idea of a doorway, - when you come back you find a horse- conjure a horse – dismount- take bridal off horse and horse will disappear- go off – shack bridal – horse comes back – This spell involves some learning- write names in Hebrew manner – and you should have access to deserted location. Otherwise it did not require much. - To become invisible- harder, more demanding, need some expensive ingredients or tools, and self-control plus you will put yourself in danger. – first under a waxen moon, on a Wednesday in the first hour of the day, remained chaste for 3 days ahead, dressed in white, trace circle on ground and on edges of circle write names (need magnificent sword to trace circle) and other letterings, and then get out trustworthy pot of expensive incents, burn, use smoke to fumigate circle, after sprinkle with holy water, borrowing of church rituals… theft of holy water for a magical purpose to purify your circle! Then once inside is safe to conjure up demons names written around circle- when they appear you ask for clock of invisibility and then trade white garments for clock – must come back after 3 days, re enter circle, find white clothes, recover them, must do within 7 days otherwise die - Village magic- need wax, hair from a woman you want to force to do your will, baptize doll under a fruit tree, mold doll = being found with books = trouble Pierre Recordi, Carcassonne- sentenced to life imprisonment for using wax dolls to coerce women – life imprisonment- clerical underworld is quite alarming to official church Discussed in Owen Davies, Grimoires: A History of Magi
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