Magic and its Hazards in the Late Medieval West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article examines the various forms of magic known in medieval Europe, focusing on those features that made it suspect and led to censure, prohibition, and prosecution. It suggests connections or disconnections between the prescriptive texts of the magicians themselves, the proscriptive texts of their opponents, and the descriptive literature (including judicial records) that claims to recount actual instances of magical activity. The article deals not simply with beliefs or with trials, but with the link between the two: the patterns of behaviour and perception that made it likely for magic to fall under suspicion and for the magician to be brought to trial.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America
EditorsBrian P Levack
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780199578160
StatePublished - 2013


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