ISBN-10:
0860786153
ISBN-13:
9780860786153
Pub. Date:
12/01/1996
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Magic and Divination in the Middle Ages: Texts and Techniques in the Islamic and Christian Worlds / Edition 1

Magic and Divination in the Middle Ages: Texts and Techniques in the Islamic and Christian Worlds / Edition 1

by Charles Burnett

Hardcover

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Overview

After discussing the terminology of talismanic magic (or necromancy) and its position in divisions of science in the Middle Ages, this book traces the history of talismanic texts from the Classical period through the Arabic world to the Latin Middle Ages. The principal authorities are Hermes and Aristotle, and the search for the ’secret knowledge’ of these ancient sages is shown to have been a catalyst for the translating activity from Arabic into Latin in 12th-century Spain. The second half of the volume is devoted to examples of the kinds of divination prevalent in Arabic and Latin-reading societies: chiromancy, onomancy, scapulimancy, geomancy and fortune-telling. The book ends with advice on when to practice alchemy and a prophetic letter of supposed Arabic provenance, warning of the coming of the Mongols. Several editions of previously unedited texts are included, with translations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780860786153
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/01/1996
Series: Variorum Collected Studies Series
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 8.82(w) x 5.91(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Charles Burnett is Professor of the History of Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Talismans: magic as science? Necromancy among the Seven Liberal Arts; Adelard, Ergaphalau and the science of the stars; Arabic, Greek and Latin works on astrological magic attributed to Aristotle; The translating activity in medieval Spain; The legend of the three Hermes and Abu Ma’shar’s Kitab al-Uluf in the Latin Middle Ages; Hermann of Carinthia and the kitab al-Istamatis: further evidence for the transmission of Hermetic magic; The kitab al-Istamatis and a manuscript of astrological and astronomical works from Barcelona (Biblioteca de Catalunya, 634); Scandinavian runes in a Latin magical treatise; The Conte de Sarzana magical manuscript; The earliest chiromancy in the West; Chiromancy: supplement. The principal Latin texts on chiromancy extant in the Middle Ages; The Eadwine Psalter and the western tradition of the onomancy in Pseudo-Aristotle's Secret of Secrets; Scapulimancy (divination by the shoulder blades of sheep); Arabic divinatory texts and Celtic folklore: a comment on the theory and practice of scapulimancy in Western Europe; Divination from sheep's shoulder blades: a reflection on Andalusian society; An Islamic divinatory technique in medieval Spain; The scapulimancy of Giorgio Anselmi's Divinum opus de magia disciplina; What is the Experimentarius of Bernardus Silvestris? A preliminary survey of the material; A note on two fortune-telling tables; The astrologer’s assay of the alchemist: early references to alchemy in Arabic and Latin texts; An apocryphal letter from the Arabic philosopher al-Kindi to Theodore, Frederick II's astrologer, concerning Gog and Magog, the enclosed nations and the scourge of the Mongols; Index.

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