Medieval Magic and Renaissance Magicians
Jakob Burghardt’s celebrated but problematic notions of the Renaissance individual are borne out no more and no less in the realm of magic than in that of art. Magical texts written in Western Europe up to the 15th century tend to be anonymous or pseudonymous (with exceptions); from the later 15th century onward there is a greater tendency for them to be intellectual property claimed by their actual authors: Ficino, Pico, Trithemius, Reuchlin, Lefevre d’Etaples, Agrippa, and others (again, with exceptions). But shifting attitudes toward mages are not necessarily correlated with shifting perceptions of magical practice and assumptions about the oprations of magic. The first third of this course will examine representative magical texts of the 12th to early 15th century. The remainder will focus on the Renaissance figures named above, and will seek to tease out correspondences and discontinuities between medieval and Renaissance magic.
Participants: Lisa Carnell, Western Michigan University; Maria Carrig, Carthage College; Ray Clemens, Illinois State University; Rachel Fulton, University of Chicago; Suzanne LaVere, Northwestern University; Vance Martin, Loyola University Chicago; Brian Maxon, Northwestern University; Jilara Ordman, Loyola University Chicago; Jessica Rousssanov, Northwestern University; Claudia Swan, Northwestern University
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