Magic in the Middle Ages

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Description

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About this course: Magical thought has always attracted human imagination. In this course we will introduce you to the Middle Ages through a wide conception of magic. Students will have an approach to medieval culture, beliefs and practices from the perspective of History and History of Science. Popular magic, as well as learned magic (alchemy, geomancy and necromancy) will be addressed. Moreover, we will also deal with how eastern practices and texts influenced western culture. In July 2016, the course will contain a brand-new module devoted to astrology. Magic in the Middle Ages offers a captivating overview of medieval society and promotes reflection about certain stereotypes associa…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Magical thought has always attracted human imagination. In this course we will introduce you to the Middle Ages through a wide conception of magic. Students will have an approach to medieval culture, beliefs and practices from the perspective of History and History of Science. Popular magic, as well as learned magic (alchemy, geomancy and necromancy) will be addressed. Moreover, we will also deal with how eastern practices and texts influenced western culture. In July 2016, the course will contain a brand-new module devoted to astrology. Magic in the Middle Ages offers a captivating overview of medieval society and promotes reflection about certain stereotypes associated with this period. At the end of the course, the students: a) will have overcome the usual prejudices about the Middle Ages, b) will be able to analyze historical documentation from the Middle Ages and recognize the most common patterns of juridical documents regarding witchcraft, and c) will be capable of distinguishing between popular magic and the magic of the learned people; will have a notion of which spiritual practices were allowed in medieval Europe and which ones were related to the devil, and will be aware of the link between a cultural product and the society that produced it. This course is taught in English, although subtitles in English, Catalan and Spanish will also be provided. COURSE SYLLABUS Week 1. Introduction to medieval magic (Pau Castell). Week 2. Magic & Heresy (Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel). Week 3. From Magic to Witchcraft (Pau Castell). Week 4. Magic in Islam (Godefroid de Callataÿ and Sébastien Moureau). Week 5. Astrology & Geomancy (Theo Loinaz, Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel, Godefroid de Callataÿ and Blanca Villuendas). © Gemma Pellissa Prades (coord.), Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel and Joana Palau Mumany Magic in the Middle Ages by Gemma Pellissa Prades (coord.), Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel and Joana Palau Mumany is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Who is this class for: This course is aimed at those interested in magic and the Middle Ages, and also at anyone curious about how current cultures are indebted to the concepts and perceptions of magic developed during the medieval period.

Created by:  Universitat de Barcelona
  • Taught by:  Godefroid de Callataÿ - University of Louvain, Professor

    Oriental Institute (University of Louvain)
  • Taught by:  Dr Pau Castell Granados, Research and Teaching Scholar at University of Barcelona

  • Taught by:  Sébastien Moureau - University of Louvain, Chargé de recherches du F.R.S.-FNRS

    Institut Orientaliste (CIOL)
  • Taught by:  Dr Gemma Pellissa Prades, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

    Department of the Classics, Harvard
  • Taught by:  Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel, BSc, BA, MA

    Dept. of Medieval History, Palaeography & Diplomatics, Institute for Research on Medieval Cultures, University of Barcelona
  • Taught by:  Blanca Villuendas, PhD Candidate

    Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y Oriente Próximo, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.5 stars Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said Coursework

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Universitat de Barcelona The University of Barcelona is the most formidable public institution of higher education in Catalonia, catering to the needs of the greatest number of students and delivering the broadest and most comprehensive offering in higher educational courses. The UB is also the principal centre of university research in Spain and has become a European benchmark for research activity, both in terms of the number of research programmes it conducts and the excellence these have achieved.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL MAGIC



6 videos expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: The Idea of Magic
  3. Video: The Ancient Precedents
  4. Video: Magic and Superstition in Christian Europe
  5. Video: The Decline of Magic
  6. Video: Weekly Video 1 (2015)

Graded: Unit 1 Quiz

WEEK 2


UNIT 2: MAGIC & HERESY



8 videos expand


  1. Video: Church versus Magic: The Early Middle Ages (8:04)
  2. Video: The Rise and Fall of Natural Magic (5:56)
  3. Video: Persecution Unleashed (6:23)
  4. Video: The Tale of the Not-So-Evil Inquisitor (7:18)
  5. Video: Necromancy: When Demons Spoke Latin (7:11)
  6. Video: Optional video I: Eastern Jewish Communities: A Bit of Context (7:45)
  7. Video: Optional video II: The Jewish Idea of Magic (6:38)
  8. Video: Weekly Video 2 (2015)

Graded: Unit 2 Quiz

WEEK 3


UNIT 3: FROM MAGIC TO WITCHCRAFT



8 videos expand


  1. Video: The Medieval Origin of the Crime of Witchcraft (3:46)
  2. Video: Witchcraft and Maleficent Magic (7:18)
  3. Video: The Mythology of Witchcraft (8:04)
  4. Video: Medieval Witchcraft Trials (I) (5:58)
  5. Video: Medieval Witchcraft Trials (II) (6:34)
  6. Video: Optional video: Medieval Sources on Witchcraft (I) (6:19)
  7. Video: Optional video: Medieval Sources on Witchcraft (II) (5:53)
  8. Video: Weekly Video 3 (2015)

Graded: Unit 3 Quiz
Graded: Studying and inquisitorial manual

WEEK 4


UNIT 4: MAGIC IN ISLAM



7 videos expand


  1. Video: The Varieties of Magic in Islam
  2. Video: How Was Magic Received in Islam?(8:51)
  3. Video: The Ikhwān al- Ṣafā’ on Magic and the Occult (8:29)
  4. Video: The Science of the Letters (10:01)
  5. Video: Alchemy I: Arabic Alchemy
  6. Video: Alchemy II: Arabo-Latin Alchemy (9:55)
  7. Video: Weekly Video 4 (2015)

Graded: Unit 4 Quiz

WEEK 5


UNIT 5: ASTROLOGY & GEOMANCY



9 videos expand


  1. Video: Medieval Astrology: Between Science and Magic
  2. Video: The Melting Pot of Medieval Astrology
  3. Video: Early Medieval Astronomy: the Moon, the Zodiac, Thunders and Dreams
  4. Video: Horoscopes and World Events: the Doings of High-End Astrology
  5. Video: Geomancy
  6. Video: Optional video-On World Cycles 1: The Great Year Doctrine in Antiquity (1)
  7. Video: Optional video-On World Cycles 1: The Great Year Doctrine in Antiquity (2)
  8. Video: Optional video-On World Cycles 2: The Great Year Doctrine in the Middle Ages (1)
  9. Video: Optional video-On World Cycles 2: The Great Year Doctrine in the Middle Ages (2)

Graded: Unit 5 Quiz
Graded: Analysing astrological images
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