Binding Words: Textual Amulets in the Middle Ages (Magic in by Don C. Skemer

By Don C. Skemer

In the center a long time, textual amulets—short texts written on parchment or paper and worn at the body—were inspiration to guard the bearer opposed to enemies, to heal afflictions as a result of demonic invasions, and to convey the wearer luck. In Binding Words, Don C. Skemer presents the 1st book-length research of this once-common technique of harnessing the mystical strength of phrases.

Textual amulets have been a special resource of empowerment, promising the believer secure passage via a precarious global via an ever-changing mixture of scriptural quotations, divine names, universal prayers, and liturgical formulation. even if theologians and canon legal professionals usually derided textual amulets as ignorant superstition, many literate clergy performed a imperative position in generating and disseminating them. The texts have been, in flip, embraced by way of a wide cross-section of Western Europe. Saints and parish monks, physicians and village healers, landowners and peasants alike believed of their efficacy.

Skemer bargains cautious research of numerous dozen surviving textual amulets besides different modern medieval resource fabrics. within the procedure, Binding Words enriches our knowing of renowned faith and magic in daily medieval life.

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Extra resources for Binding Words: Textual Amulets in the Middle Ages (Magic in History)

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56. In addition, the association of the Ten Commandments with Moses was perhaps a factor because Christians considered him a master of the magic arts. 45. d. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1947), p. 305; J. F. Niemeyer, Mediae latinitatis lexicon minus (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1976), vol. 1, p. 799; François Dolbeau, “Noms de livres,” in Weijers, Vocabulaire du livre, p. 95. 36 bi ndi ng words devoid of true knowledge. ”46 St. Jerome’s bitter criticism was inXuential in the Middle Ages. 47 In the ninth century, commenting on the same passage in the Gospel of Matthew, Agobard of Lyons and Haimo of Halberstadt echoed St.

J. Rather and John M. Sharp (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), pp. 76–78; E. D. Phillips, Greek Medicine (London: Thames and Hudson, 1973), pp. R. Lloyd, Magic, Reason and Experience: Studies in the Origins and Development of Greek Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966), p. 13. 7. The font of Hermetic wisdom was a late antique composite of the Greek god Hermes (messenger of the gods and interpreter of the divine word) and Thoth (Egyptian god of writing, sacred rituals, and magic).

R. , Quintus Serenus (Serenus Sammonicus): Liber medicinalis (Le livre de médecine) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1950), p. 47, no. 48, l. , p. 48, no. 51, l. ” Harris, Ancient Literacy, pp. 218–19; Biedermann, Handlexikon, p. G. Grattan and Charles Singer, Anglo-Saxon Magic and Medicine: Illustrated specially from the Semi-Pagan Text “Lacnunga,” Publications of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, new series, no. 3 (London: Published for the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum by Oxford University Press, 1952), p.

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