Magic in romance languages

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© 2019 selection and editorial matter, Sophie Page and Catherine Rider; individual chapters, the contributors. During the thirteenth century, the Romance languages of Western Europe began to convey secular learned knowledge while expanding their audience to new social groups, such as the nobility or the bourgeoisie, after centuries of having been monopolized by Latin and by the clergy. 1 Magic was one of the specialized fields in which Romance texts were translated and produced earliest, as a result of rulers’ and courtiers’ ambition to dominate occult forces. However, although the origin of magical writings was at first related to those who held power, these writings later suffered persecution and censorship on the basis of religious orthodoxy, and this made it difficult for them to be preserved, especially in the Iberian Peninsula. This chapter will focus on astral magic, which includes ritual and image magic that observed astrological conditions, and which poses specific problems regarding its illegitimacy and circulation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge History of Medieval Magic
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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