Magic, witches, and demons have drawn interest and fear throughout human history. In this comprehensive primary source reader, Martha Rampton traces the history of our fascination with magic and witchcraft from the first through to the seventeenth century. In over 80 readings presented chronologically, Rampton demonstrates how understandings of and reactions toward magic changed and developed over time, and how these ideas were influenced by various factors such as religion, science, and law. The wide-ranging texts emphasize social history and include early Merovingian law codes, the Picatrix, Lombard's Sentences, The Golden Legend, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. By presenting a full spectrum of source types including hagiography, law codes, literature, and handbooks, this collection provides readers with a broad view of how magic was understood through the medieval and early modern eras.
Rampton's introduction to the volume is a passionate appeal to students to use tolerance, imagination, and empathy when travelling back in time. The introductions to individual readings are deliberately minimal, providing just enough context so that students can hear medieval voices for themselves.
Martha Rampton is Professor of History at Pacific University. She concentrates on the early medieval period with an emphasis on social history and the activities and roles of women. She is the founder and director of the Pacific University Center for Gender Equality.
Acknowledgements Preface Chapter One: Late Classical and Early Christian Archetypes 1. Moses and Aaron Challenge Pharaoh's Magicians 2. The Pythoness Brings the Dead to Life: The Witch of Endor 3. Odysseus and Circe the Sorceress 4. Medea: The Classic Witch 5. Erictho: Divination through the Dead 6. Simon Magus: Money for Miracles 7. Goddess Diana of the Ephesians Bests the Apostle Paul 8. Hecate and the Chaldean Oracles 9. Magic Transforms One into a Bird, Another into an Ass 10. Justin Martyr and the Fallen Angels 11. The Apostle Peter Bests Simon Magus 12. Antony of the Desert Combats Demons 13. Curse Tablets and Binding Spells 14. Saint Martin Battles with Pagans and Demons 15. Augustine: Demons and Magic in the City of God Chapter Two: Post-Roman Kingdoms of Europe: Traffic with Demons (500-750) 16. Three Post-Roman Law Codes against Malicious Magic 17. Caesarius of Arles Preaches against Magic and Paganism 18. Continuity in Magic Spells 19. A Warning to Peasants about the Evils of Trafficking with Demons 20. Sorcery in Gregory of Tours's Sixth-Century Gaul 21. Saint Patrick Battles Pagan Magicians 22. Early Medieval Sainthood and Demons: Saint Radegund 23. Isidore of Seville Defines Magic: The Etymologies 24. Penance for Sins of Magic 25. A Demoniac in Early Medieval England: Bede Chapter Three: The Carolingian Dynasty: Demons Cut Down to Size (750-1000) 26. An Eighth-Century List of Pagan Practices 27. Paganism of the Saxons 28. Beowulf Fights the Demons: Grendel, and Grendel's Mother 29. Agobard of Lyons and Weather Magic 30. Carolingian Catalogue of Magical Acts: Council of Paris 31. Treatise on Magic: Hrabanus Maurus 32. Magic at the Court of Louis the Pious: Paschasius Radbertus 33. The Devil of Kempten and the Villager 34. Marriage and Magic: The Divorce of Lothar 35. Loosed Women and Night Flight: Canon episcopi 36. Anglo-Saxon Healing Cures and Charms 37. Anglo-Saxon Sermon against Augury: Aelfric of Eynsham 38. A Prayer to Mother Earth and Other Charms 39. An Eleventh-Century Penitential: Burchard of Worms Chapter Four: The High Middle Ages: Many Threads (1000-1300) 40. Evil Angels: Lombard's Sentences 41. Divination and the Court: The Policraticus 42. Lanval and the Fairy Queen: Marie de France 43. The Gentle Werewolf: Marie de France 44. Guide for the Perplexed: Jewish Magic and Maimonides 45. Weather Well and Magic Ring: Chretien de Troyes 46. Norse Magic: Saga of the Volsungs 47. Magic as a Cautionary Tale: Caesarius of Heisterbach 48. A Saintly Dog and the Changelings 49. Picatrix: Arabic Magic 50. Astronomy: Natural Magic or Necromancy? 51. The Golden Legend: Saints and Devils 52. Heresy versus Sorcery 53. A New Kind of Devil: Thomas Aquinas Chapter Five: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: Diabolism 54. A Priest Dupes His Friend with a Promise of Magic in The Decameron 55. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 56. Key to Occult Mysteries of Solomon 57. Clerical Magic: A Handbook 58. A Warning to the People of Siena to Expunge Witches from the City 59. Trial of Joan of Arc 60. Witch Beliefs Coalesce: Formicarius 61. The Ordinal of Alchemy 62. Natural Magic and Renaissance Humanism: Oration on the Dignity of Man 63. Pope Innocent VIII Empowers the Inquisitors 64. The Witch Hammer Chapter Six: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: The Full Fury of the Witch-Hunts 65. Defending the Harvest: The Cult of the Benandanti 66. In Praise of Natural Magic: Cornelius Agrippa 67. Martin Luther's Devil 68. Papists, Popedom, and Witchery: John Calvin 69. A Voice of Skepticism from the Medical Profession: Johann Weyer 70. Witch Persecutions in Trier 71. Charms, Tricks, and Day-to-Day Sorcery 72. Demon Mania in France: Jean Bodin 73. Mechanics of Torture: Dr. Fian and Suzanne Gaudry 74. King James and the Witches of North Berwick: "News from Scotland" 75. Skepticism and a Forced Recantation 76. King James I of England: Treatise on Demons and Witchcraft 77. A Midsummer Night's Dream 78. Shakespeare's Witches: Macbeth 79. A Jacobean Comedy 80. The Witches' Sabbath 81. Persecution of the Burgomaster of Bamberg 82. The Witches of Wurzburg 83. Witch Panic in Bonn 84. In Defense of the Accused 85. The Demonic Possession of the Nuns of Loudun 86. England's Witch Finder General Sources Index of Topics