Civilizations of the Supernatural


Edited by Fabrizio Conti

ISBN 978-615-81689-1-5                                           Paperback, €45.00

eISBN 978-615-81689-8-4                                         Hardcover, €145.00

                                                                                      eBook, €45.00

DOI: 10.22618/TP.HMWR.20201

Volume 1 (November 2020)

In colour, pp. 383


Civilizations of the Supernatural: Witchcraft, Ritual, and Religious Experience in Late Antique, Medieval, and Renaissance Traditions brings together thirteen scholars of late-antique, medieval, and renaissance traditions who discuss magic, religious experience, ritual, and witch-beliefs with the aim of reflecting on the relationship between man and the supernatural. The content of the volume is intriguingly diverse and includes late antique traditions covering erotic love magic, Hellenistic-Egyptian astrology, apotropaic rituals, early Christian amulets, and astrological amulets; medieval traditions focusing on the relationships between magic and disbelief, pagan magic and Christian culture, as well as witchcraft and magic in Britain, Scandinavian sympathetic graphophagy, superstition in sermon literature; and finally Renaissance traditions revolving around Agrippan magic, witchcraft in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and a Biblical toponym related to the Friulan Benandanti’s visionary experiences. These varied topics reflect the multifaceted ways through which men aimed to establish relationships with the supernatural in diverse cultural traditions, and for different purposes, between Late Antiquity and the Renaissance. These ways eventually contributed to shaping the civilizations of the supernatural or those peculiar patterns which helped men look at themselves through the mirror of their own amazement of being in this world.

 Parts of this book can be read in open access.



Notes on Contributors

Foreword, Teofilo F. Ruiz

Introduction, Fabrizio Conti  Download PDF

CHAPTER 1. Naomi Janowitz, Aelian on Tortoise Sex and the Artifice of “Erotic Love Magic”  Download PDF

CHAPTER 2. Attilio Mastrocinque, The Dodekaoros, Magical Papyri, and Magical Gems: Egyptian Astrology and Later Hellenistic Traditions 

CHAPTER 3. Tiana Blazevic, How to Deal With the Evil Daimones. Apotropaic Rituals of the Third and Fourth Centuries CE According to Porphyry, Iamblichus, and the Greek Magical Papyri 

CHAPTER 4. Joseph E. Sanzo, Prayer and Incantation on Early Christian Amulets: Authoritative Traditions, Ritual Practices, and Material Objects  Download PDF

CHAPTER 5. Paolo Vitellozzi, Astrological Amulets in the Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius 

CHAPTER 6. Michael D. Bailey, Magic and Disbelief in Carolingian Lyon  Download PDF

CHAPTER 7. Martina Lamberti, The Merseburg Charms: Pagan Magic and Christian Culture in Medieval Germany 

CHAPTER 8. Francesco Marzella, Hirsuta et cornuta cum lancea trisulcata: Three Stories of Witchcraft and Magic in Twelfth-Century Britain 

CHAPTER 9. Andrea Maraschi, Sympathetic Graphophagy in Late Medieval Scandinavian Leechbooks and Collections of Charms 

CHAPTER 10. Ewelina Kaczor, Superstitions in a Sermon of Stanisław of Skarbimierz (ca. 1360-1431) 

CHAPTER 11. Noel Putnik, Operari per fidem: The Role of Faith in Agrippan Magic 

CHAPTER 12. Melissa Pullara, Reasoning with Witchcraft: Moral Deliberation in Macbeth 

CHAPTER 13. Cora Presezzi, Envisioning the Afterlife from the “Seaport of Friuli”: Conjectures on a Toponym 

Specific References

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