Magic in the Cloister: Pious Motives, Illicit Interests, and Occult Approaches to the Medieval…

Hardcover | October 21, 2013

bySophie Page

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During the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries a group of monks with occult interests donated what became a remarkable collection of more than thirty magic texts to the library of the Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine’s in Canterbury. The monks collected texts that provided positive justifications for the practice of magic and books in which works of magic were copied side by side with works of more licit genres. In Magic in the Cloister, Sophie Page uses this collection to explore the gradual shift toward more positive attitudes to magical texts and ideas in medieval Europe. She examines what attracted monks to magic texts, in spite of the dangers involved in studying condemned works, and how the monks combined magic with their intellectual interests and monastic life. By showing how it was possible for religious insiders to integrate magical studies with their orthodox worldview, Magic in the Cloister contributes to a broader understanding of the role of magical texts and ideas and their acceptance in the late Middle Ages.

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During the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries a group of monks with occult interests donated what became a remarkable collection of more than thirty magic texts to the library of the Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine’s in Canterbury. The monks collected texts that provided positive justifications for the practice of magic ...

Sophie Page is a lecturer at University College London.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:October 21, 2013Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271060336

ISBN - 13:9780271060330

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction

1 Monks and Their Magic Texts at St. Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury

2 Natural Magic: The Basilisk and the Lodestone

3 The Liber vaccae: Magical Uses of Monstrous Creations

4 Image Magic: Harnessing Power in the Harmonious Universe

5 The Liber de essentia spirituum: Magic, Revelation, and Fellowship with Spirits

6 The Ars notoria and Its Monastic Audience

Epilogue John Dee, St. Augustine’s Manuscripts, and Renaissance Magic

Appendix 1 Translation of the Glossulae super Librum imaginum lunae

Appendix 2 Translation of the Liber de essentia spirituum

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Page’s work marks a significant contribution to an emerging area of the study of the history of magic, one that has the potential to bridge a gap between what we know of magical texts, and what we can infer about magical readers and practitioners. As such, it has earned a welcome place in my own magical library at home.”

—Nancy Mandeville Caciola, Renaissance Quarterly