Nigromancy in the Later Middle Ages

By Lisa A. Bergstrom
2011, Vol. 3 No. 06 | pg. 1/1

The struggle of the early modern church against witchcraft is rightly famous. However, before they were hunting woman flying on broomsticks to nocturnal orgies, church authorities were most concerned about a very different sort of magic: nigromancy. Nigromancy, meaning black magic or black divination, was a highly intricate form of ritual magic, whose educated adherents summoned demons with magic circles drawn in blood and long Latin recitations replete with words such as conjuro, adjuro, and exorcizo (I conjure, I adjure, and I exorcise).i Church authorities condemned nigromancy as dangerous, depraved, and apostate, and they harshly punished anyone who took part in it. A papal bull from 1326 speaks of a “pestilential plague” spread by “men who are Christian in name only [who] sacrifice to demons, adore them….[T]hey ally themselves with death and make a pact with Hell.”ii Even some modern scholars describe nigromancers as “demon-worshipers” or dismiss them as badly trained clerics with too much time to get into trouble.iii However, none of these charges, neither , Satanism, nor simple ignorance, are accurate reflections of nigromancy’s relationship with . Nigromancy was, for the most part, a reasonable application of Christian theology, whose practitioners considered themselves pious experts of a virtuous art. Despite, or perhaps because of, these claims to religious orthodoxy, church authorities in the early fourteenth century, a time of increasing religious intolerance and brutal persecutions, resolved that nigromancy was a form of heresy, punishable by execution.

Medieval Christian Demonology

I use nigromancy here to mean learned, ritual magic explicitly invoking the of demons. The more popular term today, among both scholars and the general public, is necromancy, meaning literally divination through the spirits of the dead.

However, the medieval Christian belief that only God could call souls to Earth from the afterlife, and that any divination must therefore be based on demonic power, precluded the practice of necromancy in the literal sense.iv

Medieval authors used both nigromantia and necromantia interchangeably. I use nigromancy because it is the more accurate term and the one I found in most primary texts.

Although Neoplatonic, Islamic, and Jewish influences were important, nigromancy was rooted in Christian demonology. To show this it is necessary to dwell at length on how educated Europeans in the Middle Ages understood the nature and power of demons. The thirteenth century saw the rise of Scholastic demonology, which, like Scholasticism generally, created a logically consistent, well argued, and largely homogenized doctrine integrating earlier Christian writers, such as the fourth century Augustine of Hippo, with Aristotelian philosophy. The development of such a thorough demonology had several motivations, but one result was a heightened fear of magic, particularly nigromancy, the form of magic with which religious authorities would have been most familiar.v The demons of the Middle Ages appeared more powerful, more menacing, and more personal than the demons of antiquity, echoing the more personal and collaborative human-demon interactions in nigromancy as compared to earlier forms of magic.vi

That the power of demons, and therefore the power of nigromancy, could be demarcated and analyzed with a science-like precision rests on the fact that demons, like angels, were considered preternatural, rather than supernatural. That is, they operated within the bounds of nature, although they may have gone against nature’s usual course. Only God was considered supernatural, and thus only God could work true miracles.vii However, whether any particular act resulted from natural, preternatural, or supernatural power could be nearly impossible to determine. In fact, one of the most threatening aspects of nigromancy was its potential to deceive the faithful with false miracles.

Demons were fallen angels, thus they possessed the same abilities as angels, which they used to hinder rather than help humanity. They were thought to reside not in Hell, but in the lower atmosphere, where they could carry out their business of drawing humans into sin.viii As to the physical bodies of demons, there were several opinions. Augustine, reflecting ancient beliefs, held demons had natural bodies of air, although he allowed that they might be incorporeal.ix Thomas Aquinas, in his On Evil (1272) and other works, thought demons were incorporeal and assumed bodies of compressed air, though he, like Augustine, considered the question unimportant.x The famous inquisitorial handbook Malleus Maleficarum of 1486, which drew heavily on Aquinas, said demons created bodies by taking elements out of the environment; they then simulated speech “by some disturbance of the air included in their assumed body.”xi Regardless of exactly how demons did it, theologians and magicians agreed that demons could appear in physical form, usually grotesque versions of animals or foreigners. Thus, nigromantic rituals often specified that the summoned demons appear in a pleasing, human form.xii

While the powers of demons were vast, they were not infinite. Demons were not supernatural and thus could not work true miracles. Furthermore, they acted only with the permission of God, who allowed demons to work evil in the world in order to test the faith of humans and punish sinners.xiii Although divination was perhaps the most common form of nigromancy, theologians held that demons did not have true foreknowledge of the future. Aquinas argued that demons could predict the future only through revelations from God, their knowledge of external causes, or “when they predict the things they themselves are about to do.”xiv Nevertheless, with their great intellect, length of experience on Earth, and ability to move very quickly, demons could make strikingly accurate predictions.xv Presumably, magicians thought the demons they conjured to tell the future actually knew the future, although nigromantic texts were chiefly practical and seldom focused on the art’s theoretical aspects.xvi Whether demons knew the future or simply made correct predictions would be of little practical importance.

Demons could not transmute one substance into another or create something ex nihilo. They could only change a substance by accelerating a natural process, such as putrefaction.xvii They could also deceive people, either through illusions like their assumed bodies or by affecting the senses through a change in the balance of humors.xviii Demons could affect local motion, as their ability to control air and bodily humors indicates. Lastly, demons could not control the will, but they could take possession of a human body or induce appetites to which people might respond.xix These views were generally accepted, though some writers afforded demons greater power, and some less.

Most spirits summoned in nigromantic rituals were quite explicitly evil, but nigromancy also occasionally invoked angels, along with neutral spirits, whose existence church authorities adamantly denied.xx The idea of neutral spirits came essentially from an alternative demonology based on the Greco-Roman belief in daimones, partially corporeal natural spirits, who could be either good or evil.xxi This theory remained influential in early Christendom, but by the Middle Ages, evil demons had decisively replaced ambivalent daimones, at least in the Christian world. However, in addition to church doctrine and ritual, nigromancy drew on Neoplatonic, Islamic, and Jewish magic, which had different concepts of demons.xxii It is natural that nigromancers might incorporate non-Christian concepts that seemed most useful for their art.

The Practitioners of Nigromancy

Just who were the nigromancers who caused the church so much consternation? We can confidently assume from trial records, literature, and other sources that a large majority of nigromancers were clerics, both in reality and in public imagination.xxiii Hence, the twelfth-century author and eventually bishop of Chartres John of Salisbury wrote of being a pupil forced to look for spirits on his anointed fingernail as part of a priest’s scrying ritual. xxiv A fourteenth-century monk was allegedly so fond of reading that he read books of nigromancy and began to practice it in secret until his fellow monks found out and imprisoned him until penitent. Fifteenth-century friars at the court of the antipope Benedict XIII were charged with using nigromancy in one particularly political, yet not implausible, case. Many other records of such incidents exist. No particular episode can be verified with certainty, but as a whole the evidence is convincing.

There were two main reasons why nigromancers tended to be clerics. First, nigromancy was a learned art, requiring literacy and knowledge of Latin. Although it had earlier antecedents, nigromancy only became widespread and fully developed in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, when greatly expanded, producing a small but significant population of learned men.xxv In the Middle Ages, such men were almost always clerics, even if they had no official religious duties.xxvi Second, clerics would have had the confidence, knowledge of Christian ritual, and supposed piety needed to contend with demons.xxvii

That the practitioners of an art so hated by the church were usually members of that church might seem paradoxical. To some extent, how one explains this paradox is a personal and moral judgement. Richard Kieckhefer, the preeminent scholar of nigromancy, argues that this phenomenon is an unfortunate product of the medieval education system.xxviii Everyone who studied at a medieval university would be ordained, whether or not one planned on working for the church. Many of those who did work for the church would have had minimal religious training and few duties to perform. This produced a sizeable class of under-employed and poorly trained people with basic knowledge of Latin and church ritual, who “might readily get into trouble.”xxix However, one need not put such a negative face on the matter.

The fact that so many nigromancers were also members of the clergy shows that, for those with firsthand experience of both, nigromancy and religion were compatible. One can understand this, as Kieckhefer does, as a consequence of the poor training and overall quality of medieval clergymen. No doubt there is some truth to this, but as we will see, nigromancy presupposed a strong knowledge of and devotion to . At least some nigromancers understood arguments against their art and defended themselves. Clearly, ignorance is not the whole story. Therefore, one can also take the fact that most nigromancers were clergymen at face value as evidence that nigromancy was not inherently anti-Christian. However, this did not protect nigromancy from suffering, along with other forms of magic, increasingly ruthless religious persecution.

The Practice of Nigromancy

Virtually all medieval Christians believed that certain worthy humans could use divine power to compel demons with pious rituals.xxx Most believed that this power could only be licitly and effectively employed to dispel demons through exorcism. Nigromancers, however, invoked this power for much broader purposes. Thus, nigromancy was essentially an extension of orthodox Christian exorcism, along with a heavy dose of Islamic astral magic.xxxi Some nigromantic texts even referred to the practitioner as an exorcist.xxxii The difference, of course, is that while exorcism sought to expel demons, nigromancy sought to summon them. Once summoned, demons could be commanded for a variety of ends, including mastering a science, identifying a thief, conjuring an illusory horse, gaining favor at court, or making a woman fall in love.xxxiii This could be either for personal use or on behalf of a client. While spells to cause physical harm and death predominated in descriptions of nigromancy from trial records and sermons, actual books of nigromancy tended to be more concerned with less harmful spells of divination, illusions, and psychological coercion.xxxiv

Like exorcists, nigromancers often prepared for their rituals with an elaborate process of purification. This could include fasting, prayer, being shaved, bathed, and dressed in white, abstaining from sex for a certain period, going to confession, and even giving alms.xxxv The nigromancer might also have consecrated the objects to be used in the ritual or even the magic book itself by reciting psalms or appealing directly to God.xxxvi The purpose of these preparations was to protect the nigromancer from the demons summoned and to ensure the efficacy of the ritual.xxxvii If the nigromancer were not sufficiently pure and humbled before God, then the ritual would not succeed.

The basic form of a nigromantic conjuration, by far the most common type of nigromantic ritual, was identical to that of an exorcism.xxxviii Conjurations and exorcisms began with a declaration (“I conjure”), then an address (“Devil, Satan, Enemy”), then an invocation (“by God the Father almighty”), and ended with an instruction (“that you should depart form the soul and withdraw from the body”).xxxix Using this formula, the conjuration or exorcism could be as simple or elaborate as desired. To show how nigromancy related to standard Christian practice and belief, it will be helpful to examine a specific nigromantic ritual. The ritual is for conjuring an illusory banquet and comes from the Munich handbook, a fairly representative book of nigromancy from the fifteenth century translated and edited by Richard Kieckhefer in the book Forbidden Rites.xl

This ritual is imagined as a form of courtly entertainment, although it is performed alone in decidedly humble circumstances. It is long and complicated, so only the main points are related here. First, the text instructs the nigromancer to go outside of town under a waxing moon with a sword and a hoopoe (a bird commonly featured in European magic). He then traces a circle with the sword, inscribes sixteen names, and recites those names, saying “I, so-and-so, adjure you…to come to me here in a gentle, pleasing and cheerful form and make manifest whatever I say.” The nigromancer repeats this twelve times while doing complicated motions with the sword and says, “Come, O aforementioned spirits…for I command you by the eternal glory of God. Amen.” Sixteen demons in the form of knights come, promising to obey the nigromancer’s will. The nigromancer orders an elaborate banquet and immediately many servers, dishes, and noble guests appear. Throughout the banquet, the nigromancer must stay in the circle, though he may eat the delicious food, which, the reader is warned, will make one hungrier the more one eats. When the spectacle ends, the nigromancer then gives the demons the hoopoe in exchange for an oath, sworn on a sacred book, that they will recreate the banquet whenever he pleases. The demons leave, saying that they will be attentive to the nigromancer from then on.

There are several noteworthy demonological elements in this ritual. That the food is illusory rather than real is entirely consistent with mainstream Scholastic demonology; the creation of something from nothing was a supernatural ability reserved only for God, while mere sensory trickery fit demons’ capabilities and intents. The stipulation that the demons appear in a pleasing form corresponds to the standard notion that demons usually assumed dangerous, bestial bodies. Other rituals in the Munich handbook also conform to standard demonology. One conjures a horse to carry the nigromancer great distances that is actually a demon in an assumed body. Another brings enmity between friends, fitting as demons could control passions, but not wills. Yet others do not neatly fit with standard demonology, particularly one for conjuring spirits between Heaven and Hell.xli In general, however, the author and those who would have persecuted him operated within the same basic demonology.

Throughout the banquet ritual and others included with it it is clear that the nigromancer saw his relationship with God quite differently from his relationship with demons. God is described as “gracious” and “merciful,” while demons are described as “hateful,” “malignant” and “invidious.” God is “invoked in supplication,” while demons are “commanded,” “ordered,” and “exorcised.”xlii Church authorities may have thought nigromancers servants of demons, but nigromancers considered themselves masters of demons and servants of God. In fact, some nigromancers claimed that magic could be used to reach a vision of God, a view unsurprisingly condemned by theologians.xliii

Surely, no medieval nigromancer ever truly conjured a banquet, illusory or otherwise. However, nowhere in the text of that or any other ritual does it imply that the effects should be taken any way but literally. The author of the Munich handbook repeatedly claims that if a ritual is done correctly, it has no chance of failure.xliv If a ritual did fail, one could always explain this by a corruption in the text, the impurity of the magician, or similar reasons without drawing the conclusion that nigromancy did not work.xlv In addition, the harsh penalties one could face for practicing nigromancy or even owning a book of nigromancy argue that those who practiced nigromancy believed in its efficacy. Nigromancers were not alone in this belief; most religious and secular authorities thought nigromancy and other forms of magic could work.xlvi When in 1398 the Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris condemned the belief that sorcerers could compel demons with God’s aid, they also repudiated the belief that “by such arts and impious rites…no effect ever follows by aid of demons.”xlvii That magic could have effect is one point on which church authorities and nigromancers agreed; they disagreed on why demonic magic worked, its piety, its morality, and just who was controlling whom.

Condemnation and Defense

Religious authorities denied that demons could be commanded with recitations and inscriptions.xlviii Rather, demons came of their own will during a nigromantic ritual because they were attracted to the nigromancer’s signs of homage.xlix They then pretended to be compelled to draw the magician deeper into sin. Demons were completely capable of wreaking havoc on their own, but they preferred working through humans so as to corrupt a soul in the process.l Of course, nigromancers themselves claimed to compel demons with the same divine aid as exorcists, but few others believed that God would abet something widely considered immoral and illicit.li To nigromancers, their art was more than licit; it was inherently virtuous. If a nigromancer were to command demons using divine power, then he had to be pious and pure, or there would be no effect.lii Thus, The Key of Solomon, a seventeenth-century work derived from earlier sources, could claim that magic should be dedicated to God and kindness, yet include spells for causing war and death.liii In this way, the nigromancers’ views inverted the long-standing views of the church, which held that demonic magic was always sinful, regardless of its purposes.liv

Although the Christian prohibition on magic dated back to the Bible, for centuries Christian authorities punished magic relatively mildly, with excommunication and exile, not execution, being the harshest penalties. lv Punishment from secular authorities was generally limited to magic that caused harm. This changed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when magic came to be deemed a form of heresy, itself considered an increasingly serious . The persecution of magic can be seen as part of a larger trend of religious intolerance during and immediately before this period. Rising alarm over heresy led to the church’s brutal repression of Christian sects such as the Cathars and Waldensians, along with Jews and Muslims.lvi In such an atmosphere, the rise of nigromancy, an explicitly demonic magic whereas other forms of magic had been considered implicitly demonic, was bound to be considered a grave threat to the church. In addition, a systematic demonology that emphasized demons’ relationships with humans made demonic magic seem even more menacing, and a newly developed legal system expanded the authority and enforcement of religious law.lvii

The early fourteenth century witnessed the first trails, and executions, for nigromancy. They were all politically motivated, but helped establish the precedent of trying demonic magic as heresy. Wanting to determine the exact relationship between magic and heresy, Pope John XXII, who had already charged many of his political opponents with nigromancy, convened a council of theologians in 1320.lviii They decided that nigromancers were indeed heretics, and the pope authorized inquisitors to act against them as such.

The pope strengthened this decision with Super illius specula, the 1326 bull cited in the introduction to this essay. It was concerned mostly, but not exclusively, with nigromancy. The bull condemned those who “sacrifice to demons, adore them, make images, rings, mirrors…for magic purposes, and…[bind] themselves in the most shameful for the most shameful things.”lix “By their means a most pestilential disease, besides growing stronger and increasingly serious, grievously infects the flock of Christ throughout the world.” The bull forbade all Christians from teaching, learning, or using demonic magic “by whatever means for whatever purpose.” It gave Christians eights days to renounce such magic and to turn in all magic texts for burning.lx Any who continued to practice would be subject to the same punishments as heretics, including automatic excommunication or worse.lxi

Nigromancers, of course, did not accept this ruling. Fourteenth-century manuscripts of The Sworn Book of Honorius, one of the earliest extant books of medieval nigromancy, contain a prologue that was almost certainly written in response to Super illius specula and other papal condemnations of magic from the 1320s.lxii It described how the Devil, jealous of nigromancers, inspired the Pope and cardinals to issue a decree for the extermination of magic and magicians. In this decree they denounced nigromancers for sacrificing to demons, abusing the name of God, and tempting others to damnation with false miracles. The author then refuted these charges with the standard defense for nigromancy, arguing that only those who were worthy before God could command demons. “For it is not possible that a wicked and unclean man should work truely in this art, for men are not bound to spirits, but the spirits are constrained against their wills to answer men that are cleansed or clean, and to fulfill their requests.”lxiii This is not an exceptionally sophisticated defense, but it is important for our purposes because it shows nigromancers and their detractors in conversation, each knowledgeable of the others’ position and possessing a valid counterargument.

Inquisitors expanded on and refined Scholastic and papal arguments for the heretical nature of nigromancy. The most important and knowledgeable of these was the Catalan Nicolau Eymeric. Eymeric’s Directorium inquisitorium (1376), an extremely influential inquisitorial handbook, was a meticulous theological and legal condemnation of nigromancy.lxiv In arguing that nigromancy was heretical, Eymeric was striving to prove that it fell under his jurisdiction as an inquisitor.lxv Earlier condemnations of nigromancy gave little attention to the nigromancers’ assertion that their art relied on the same divine power as exorcism; Eymeric refuted this claim directly by sharpening the distinction between nigromancy and exorcism. Eymeric and other authorities acknowledged that demons could be commanded licitly, as in the case of exorcism, but claimed that nigromancy invariably involved illicit worship of demons.lxvi In Directorium inquisitorium, he first argued that “invokers of demons” showed demons latria (worship due to God alone) “insomuch as they sacrifice to them, adore them, offer up horrible prayers to them;” sing songs, genuflect, and burn incense before demons; wear white or black and observe chastity in reverence to demons; “and many more evil things.”lxvii By sacrificing to demons, Eymeric wrote, a nigromancer “shows himself to believe the demon to be the true God,” and was thus an apostate. Even if he made no sacrifices, by turning to demons instead of God for aid, a nigromancer entered into a pact with those demons, which also amounted to apostasy. As punishment Eymeric proscribed perpetual imprisonment for those who repented and execution by the secular arm of the church for those who did not.

Nigromancers interpreted their actions quite differently. Chastity, the wearing of certain garments, and other ritual preparations were performed in reverence to God, not demons. What were to Eymeric sacrifices were to nigromancers payments or lures.lxviii Fumigations were intended to attract demons and to heighten the nigromancer’s power over them, not as signs of worship.lxix Offerings of flesh and blood were given in exchange for services. In the banquet ritual mentioned earlier, the nigromancer is instructed to say, “I am willing to give you the hoopoe if you swear to come to me and enact this spectacle whenever I please.”lxx This is the of commerce, not worship. Other texts proscribed offerings to demons that did seem more sacrificial, but the overall intent in these works should have been clear: nigromancers commanded demons in the name of God and never meant to worship them.lxxi Since nigromancers thought they compelled demons, they did not consider themselves as entering into a pact any more than an exorcist would have. There is an oath sworn in the banquet ritual, but as only the demons swear it, it would not have been not a pact.lxxii

To some extent, however, the nigromancers’ arguments, despite their validity, were moot points. Since its earliest days, the church had condemned magic that might be demonic, and they could not accept magic that very clearly was demonic.lxxiii To do so, particularly in such tumultuous times, would have undermined the authority of the church.

Conclusion

In the minds of medieval Europeans, demons stalked the world, sowing evil and tempting humans to sin. Only with the help of God could these preternaturally powerful creatures be compelled to desist in their torment of humans. A small group, consisting mostly of clerics, took this one step further, attempting to use that divine power to command demons for personal gain. To its practitioners, the very fact that nigromancy relied on divine power made it an intrinsically pious and noble enterprise. I cannot argue that nigromancy was not heresy, for heresy is whatever theologians say it is. I do argue that nigromancy was a logical outcome of orthodox medieval Christianity, an outcome no more irrational or immoral than anything the church itself did. However, medieval authorities never intended to let themselves be convinced of this. All institutions of power thrive only in the presence of an enemy; and until the medieval church helped invent the largely imagined practice of witchcraft, the very real practice of nigromancy filled that role nicely. In fact, the “witch-craze” flowed directly from the condemnation of nigromancy. The foundation for the early modern witch trails was laid when religious authorities began to imagine Satanism and demonic pacts not just in the ritual magic with which they were familiar, but also in the everyday magic of the common people.lxxiv


References

Aquinas, Thomas. On Evil. Trans. Richard J. Regan. Ed. Brian Davies. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003.

Aquinas, Thomas. The De Malo of Thomas Aquinas. Trans. Richard J. Regan. Ed. Brian Davies. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001.

Bailey, Michael D. Battling Demons: Witchcraft, Heresy, and Reform in the Late Middle Ages. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 2003.

Bailey, Michael D. "From Sorcery to Witchcraft: Clerical Conceptions of Magic in the Later Middle Ages." Speculum 76.4 (Oct. 2001): 960-90.

Bailey, Michael D. Magic and Superstition in Europe : a Concise History from Antiquity to the Present. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Bartlett, Robert. The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages: the Wiles Lecture given at the Queen's University of Belfast, 2006. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008.

Boureau, Alain. Satan the Heretic: the Birth of Demonology in the Medieval West. Trans. Teresa Lavender Fagan. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006.

Cohn, Norman. Europe's Inner Demons: the Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993.

Hopkin, Charles Edward. The Share of Thomas Aquinas in the Growth of the Witchcraft Delusion. New York: AMS, 1982.

Kieckhefer, Richard. Forbidden Rites: a Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1998.

Kieckhefer, Richard. Magic in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989.

Kors, Alan C. and Edward Peters. Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: a Documentary History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2001.

Kramer, Heinrich, and Jakob Sprenger. The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. Trans. Montague Summers. New York: Dover, 1971.

Peterson, Joseph H., ed. and trans. Liber Juratus Honorii, or the Sworn Book of Honorius. Twilit Grotto -- Esoteric Archives. 1998. Web. Accessed 22 Nov. 2010. .


i.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 104.

ii.) Pope John XXII, Super illius specula in Kors and Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: a documentary history, 119-120.

iii.) Boureau, Satan the Heretic; Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, “Necromancy in the Clerical Underworld,” 151-175.

iv.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 102.

v.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 107.

vi.) Boureau, Satan the Heretic, 117-8; Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons, 24, 110.

vii.) Bartlett, The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages, 7-9.

viii.) Boureau, 25.

ix.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 55.

x.) Aquinas, trans. Reagan, ed. Davies, The De Malo of Thomas Aquinas, 803-819.

xi.) Kramer, Sprenger, trans. Summers, Malleus Maleficarum, II.I.IV. 

xii.) Cohn, 24-6; Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 160.

xiii.) Bailey, Battling Demons, 125.

xiv.) Aquinas, trans. Reagan, ed. Davies, On Evil, 486 (XVI.VII).

xv.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 90.

xvi.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 10.

xvii.) Bartlett, 25.

xviii.) Hopkin, The Share of Thomas Aquinas in the Growth of the Witchcraft Delusion, 66.

xix.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 99.

xx.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 169.

xxi.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 154-5.

xxii.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 10-11.

xxiii.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 151.

xxiv.) All examples from Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 151-6.

xxv.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 102.

xxvi.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 103.

xxvii.) Cohn, 133.

xxviii.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 153-6.

xxix.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 154.

xxx.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 149.

xxxi.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 165.

xxxii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 9.

xxxiii.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 158.

xxxiv.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 72.

xxxv.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 168.

xxxvi.) Cohn, 108; Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 8-10, 115.

xxxvii.) Cohn, 108.

xxxviii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 146.

xxxix.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 144-6. The example given is from an exorcism.

xl.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 47-50.

xli.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 47.

xlii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 42-69.

xliii.) Kors and Peters, 132.

xliv.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 164.

xlv.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 8.

xlvi.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 10.

xlvii.) Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris in Kors and Peters, 129-132.

xlviii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 131.

xlix.) Cohn, 113.

l.) Bailey, Battling Demons, 124.

li.) Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 168.

lii.) Cohn, 108.

liii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 26.

liv.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 106.

lv.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 111, 116-7.

lvi.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 111-3.

lvii.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 108.

lviii.) Cohn, 114, 130.

lix.) Quotes from Kors and Peters, 119-20.

lx.) Cohn, 114-5.

lxi.) Boureau, 11.

lxii.) Cohn, 116.

lxiii.) Peterson, ed. and trans. The Sworn Book of Honorius.

lxiv.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 124.

lxv.) Cohn, 114.

lxvi.) Bailey, “From Sorcery to Witchcraft,” Speculum, 974 and footnote 74.

lxvii.) Eymeric, Directorium inquisitorium in Kors and Peters, 122-7.

lxviii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 157.

lxix.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 157.

lxx.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 48.

lxxi.) Cohn, 116.

lxxii.) Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 50.

lxxiii.) Bailey, Magic and Superstition in Europe, 106.

lxxiv.) Bailey, “From Sorcery to Witchcraft,” 960-90.

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In the days of past, the clarion call and mission of the black church was two-fold: it served as a beacon of hope for the lost-soul seeking grace and mercy, but it also functioned as an oasis for all issues affecting the community. The black church served as a voice in the wilderness, crying out that equality and justice belonged... MORE»
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Latest in History

2019, Vol. 11 No. 10
The status of women and their role in Late Antiquity has been a topic of inquiry among historians. It is a particularly challenging study to achieve a degree of certainty because of the biases present in historical evidence. This paper shall explore... Read Article »
2018, Vol. 10 No. 03
On February 14th, 1965, just one week before he was assassinated, Malcolm X delivered a speech in Detroit. He spoke about his beliefs concerning segregation and civil rights, and made a point of contextualizing the civil rights movement globally... Read Article »
2018, Vol. 10 No. 01
The British Empire of the nineteenth century displayed and embodied racism in its composite. In embodying this idea of racial inequality, the Empire created grounds on which it could justify the imperialist actions that it executed throughout the... Read Article »
2017, Vol. 9 No. 11
A subset of Alexandrian scholarship which has garnered long-held fascination does not center upon a success, but rather a failure: that is, the divide in his court which emerged during his Asiatic campaigns. Such a divide, though incited by a number... Read Article »
2009, Vol. 1 No. 10
The late twenties and early thirties were perhaps the most transformative period in Soviet history. It was during this period Stalin consolidated his grip on power and was allowed to rule with impunity, instituting his “revolution from above... Read Article »
2011, Vol. 3 No. 05
During most of the 16th and 17th centuries, fear of heretics spreading teachings and opinions that contradicted the Bible dominated the Catholic Church. They persecuted scientists who formed theories the Church deemed heretical and forbade people... Read Article »
2013, Vol. 5 No. 08
There is ample evidence of sexual relations, from rapes to what appear to be relatively symbiotic romantic partnerships, between white slave masters and black women in the Antebellum South. Much rarer were sexual relations between white women and... Read Article »

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