Hazards of the Dark Arts: Advice for Medieval Princes on Witchcraft and Magic by Richard KieckheferHazards of the Dark Arts: Advice for Medieval Princes on Witchcraft and Magic by Richard Kieckhefer

Hazards of the Dark Arts: Advice for Medieval Princes on Witchcraft and Magic

Translated byRichard Kieckhefer

Paperback | April 19, 2017

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This volume comprises English translations of two fundamentally important texts on magic and witchcraft in the fifteenth century: Johannes Hartlieb’s Book of All Forbidden Arts and Ulrich Molitoris’s On Witches and Pythonesses. Written by laymen and aimed at secular authorities, these works advocated that town leaders and royalty alike should vigorously uproot and prosecute practitioners of witchcraft and magic.

Though inquisitors and theologians promulgated the witch trials of late medieval times, lay rulers saw the prosecutions through. But local officials, princes, and kings could be unreliable; some were skeptical about the reality and danger of witchcraft, while others dabbled in the occult themselves. Borrowing from theological and secular sources, Hartlieb and Molitoris agitated against this order in favor of zealously persecuting occultists. Organized as a survey of the seven occult arts, Hartlieb’s text is a systematic treatise on the dangers of superstition and magic. Molitoris’s text presents a dialogue on the activities of witches, including vengeful sorcery, the transformation of humans into animals, and fornication with the devil. Taken together, these tracts show that laymen exerted significant influence on ridding society of their imagined threat.

Precisely translated by Richard Kieckhefer, Hazards of the Dark Arts includes an insightful introduction that discusses the authors, their sources and historical environments, the writings themselves, and the influence they had in the development of ideas about witchcraft.

Richard Kieckhefer is Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University and author of Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century (Penn State, 1998). Richard Kieckhefer is Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University and author of Forbidden Rites: A Nec...
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Title:Hazards of the Dark Arts: Advice for Medieval Princes on Witchcraft and MagicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:168 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.5 inPublished:April 19, 2017Publisher:Pennsylvania State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271078405

ISBN - 13:9780271078403

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Johannes Hartlieb, The Book of All Forbidden Arts

[A.] Prologue

[B.] Powers of the Devil

[C.] An example from Caesarius of Heisterbach

[D.] Moral exhortation

[E.] Nygramancy (necromancy)

[F.] Geomancy

[G.] Correlation of arts with elements

[H.] Hydromancy

[I.] Aeromancy

[J.] Pyromancy

[K.] Chiromancy

[L.] Spatulamancy

[M.] General prohibition

Ulrich Molitoris, On witches and pythonesses, in German “Unholden” or “Hexen”

Letter

[Part I]

1. Weather magic

2. Harm to humans and infants

3. Impotence

4. Change of form

5. Riding on sticks or wolves

6. Intercourse of Devil with women

7. Children born to demons and witches

8. Foretelling future things

[Part II]

Chaps. 1-3 resumed

Chap. 4 resumed

Chap. 5 resumed

Chaps. 6-7 resumed

Epilogue

Short bibliography

Editorial Reviews

“The two essays presented for the first time in English in Richard Kieckhefer’s Hazards of the Dark Arts show a comparable but refracted view of early modern opinion, reminding us to never underrate its intricacy.”

—Camille Ralphs, Times Literary Supplement