Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)


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Historians of magic who are mainly interested in the field from the perspective of intellectual history or the history of science are likely to be drawn mostly to single-author treatises, but those interested in the actual practice of magic and its relevance to cultural, social, judicial, religious and political history must take a keen interest in miscellanies as well.

Willy Braekman has edited the magical portions of a Middle Dutch miscellany of the fifteenth century, now at the Wellcome Historical Medical Library in London. Various love charms or summoning experiments are given, as well as a procedure for preventing a wife from having intercourse with another man by tracing a circle around her genitals with the tail of a lizard. More useful are procedures to expel mice and flies by use of magical images. And it includes a set of experiments ascribed to Solomon, and twelve experiments involving snake-skin, widely attributed to Johannes Paulinus but in fact translated from the Arabic.

Bodleian MS Rawlinson D , a fifteenth-century English manuscript, contains formulas for explicitly demonic magic, to which Frank Klaassen has called my attention, and which he will describe in his own research now in progress. It is devoted chiefly to lengthy conjurations intended for divination, most often to detect thieves, although there are multi-purpose experiments as well. The bulk of the material is in Latin, but the manuscript also gives lengthy passages in Middle English.

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Codex latinus Monacensis We turn now to the specific focus of this study, a fifteenth-century manuscript in the Bavarian State Library, Clm , and in particular the texts on folios 3 through of this manuscript. The material on the following folios is related in kind and approximately contemporary but in different hands and different languages, and evidently not intended as part of the same compilation. The compiler of this main block of material was evidently German; the appended materials seem to have come from various sources, and one passage contains a formula in Italian.

The description of this manuscript in the published catalogue is nondescript: it appears there as a book of incantations, exorcisms and sundry bewitchments. In my survey of Magic in the Middle Ages I highlighted this text, but without examining it fully and systematically. It is a rare example, essentially intact, of what must once have been a flourishing genre: the manual of explicitly demonic magic, or necromancy.

Yet its limitations are also its strengths: the lack of a systematic framework means that each section, essentially self-contained, has a coherence and clarity often lacking in more fully developed writings.


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The first two folios of the manuscript are missing, a circumstance which may help to explain how the manuscript evaded detection and thus survived. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the first folio of a magical manuscript to be missing. Interspersed with these are a version of the Liber consecracionum no.

All but a few of the experiments fall into the three main categories. There are twelve illusionist experiments, designed to make things appear other than as they are - to conjure forth an illusory banquet or castle, to obtain a wondrous means of transportation usually a demon in the form of a horse that will carry the magician across land or water, or to make a dead person seem alive or vice versa.

Fully seventeen experiments are divinatory techniques for gaining knowledge of future, past, distant or hidden things. As should become clear in following chapters, these three types of experiment are significantly different from one another: we find an element of playful fantasy in the illusionist experiments, an often violent effort at coercion in the psychological ones, and an insistence on detecting truth and righting wrongs in most of the divinatory ones.

Differences in tone and in purpose are accompanied by variations in technique: conjuring spirits is of central importance in most of the experiments, but the magic circle plays its most prominent role in the illusionist rituals, sympathetic magic is more prevalent in the psychological experiments, and scrying is itself the key to most of the divination. Rather than a single technique, the necromancy of this handbook represents a congeries of distinct procedures, most of which can be sorted fairly neatly into these three categories.

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Roughly speaking, we can say that the moving forces behind the magic of the handbook are the exercise of imagination, the hunger for power and the thirst for knowledge. To be sure, all three elements are at work in all the necromantic experiments. One might say that the main issues raised by the practice of necromancy are those of the relationship between sacrality and power: the necromancers perceived their art and office as sacred and saw themselves as invoking the sacred powers of heaven by which they could constrain the equally numinous but malign and treacherous powers of hell.

At the same time, one must recognize that all these experiments required exercise of imagination and were inspired in large part by curiosity. Yet the characteristic emphases differ, and we may safely generalize that it is the imaginative element which dominates in the illusionist experiments, the quest for power in psychological experiments, and the yearning for knowledge in the divinatory ones. All forms of necromancy presupposed and played upon tensions. Basic to illusionist experiments was the tension between fantasy and reality, all within the border realm in which readers and practitioners were asked to suspend their disbelief, or perhaps rather to entertain possibilities that would normally defy belief but within this ritual context might gain credibility.

In psychological experiments the tension was chiefly between the will of the necromancer and that of the victim over whom the master sought to exercise his power.

In divinatory experiments it was perhaps most importantly a tension between truth and deception; these rituals were intended to ascertain truth but left themselves open to the constant hazard of error. The materials in the manuscript that do not fit into these three categories are a procedure for gaining knowledge with the aid of a demon tutor no. Strikingly absent from this compilation are magical rituals for healing and protection and necromantic procedures for inflicting bodily harm or death. The judicial records provide ample evidence of necromancers charged with undermining the health of their victims, and other necromantic literature evidently provided guidelines for such magic.

The compiler of this manuscript seems not to have been a man of conventional morality or scrupulous disposition, yet he seems also not to have taken an interest in these kinds of magic. Not all necromantic manuals were squeamish in this regard. The Key of Solomon insists that magic must be used only to glorify God and extend kindness to neighbours, but in fact the work prescribes methods for causing enmity, war, death, destruction, and so forth; as E.

The numbers for each item are editorial additions. Table A. Experiments in Clm , fols No. Purpose Fols Type 1. For gaining knowledge of the liberal arts 3r-5v 2. For causing a person to lose his senses 6r-7v Psych. For gaining dignity and honour llvv Psych. For arousing hatred between friends 13vr Psych.

For obtaining a banquet 15rv lllus.

Full text of "A, E, I, O, U, manuel-dictionnaire des rimes françaises classées d'après "

For obtaining a castle 18vr Illus. For obtaining a boat 21rr lllus. For obtaining a horse 23vv lllus. For resuscitating a dead person 25vr lllus. For invisibility 28rv lllus. For constraining a man, woman, spirit or beast 32rr Psych. For obtaining a horse 33vr lllus. For obtaining a flying throne 34rv lllus.

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For finding something in sleep 35vr Divin. For obtaining a horse 36rv lllus. The mirror of Floron, for revelation of past, present and 37rr Divin.

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The mirror of Floron, second version 38rv Divin. Another way of using a mirror 39vv Divin. For invisibility 40v lllus. For discovering a thief or murderer by gazing into a vessel 41rr Divin. First mirror of Lilith 42rr Divin. For learning about any uncertain thing by gazing into a 43rv Divin. For information about a theft by gazing into a crystal Key of Pluto, for opening all locks For obtaining information about a theft by gazing into a 43vr 44v 44vv, Divin.

For obtaining information by gazing at a bone 47vr Divin. The true art of the basin 49rv Divin. The Book of Consecrations 52rv For obtaining information from a mirror 62vr Divin. List of spirits 65vr bis Generic preparation for conjuring spirits 67vv Divin. Manual of astral magic 68vv For obtaining information about a theft by gazing into a fingernail 96vv Divin. For obtaining information by gazing into a fingernail 99vr Divin. For obtaining information about a theft by gazing into a r- Divin.

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For discovering hidden treasure in sleep r- v Divin. The name Semiforas v- r For obtaining a horse r- v nius. Fragment of an experiment for averting harm v For invisibility v- r nius. Favourable and unfavourable days of the month for r- inscriptions v The arrangement of folios within the gatherings is highly erratic with many folios excised, and others elsewhere inserted , but apart from the two folios missing from the front of the manuscript, there is in general a high degree of continuity both within and between the gatherings, the main exception being in the apparently careless fragmentation of experiment no.

Ji This discontinuity existed already, and the folios in question had already been excised, at the time of the original fifteenth-century foliation.

This material will be discussed here mainly in so far as it resembles or otherwise relates to the main block of material. The only materials from folios that are edited here are the second version of the Liber consecracionum given along with no. It may seem - and may indeed be - hazardous to devote such attention to a manuscript that survives in this condition. It is possible that the missing first folio contained a title, named an author, or gave other information that would be important for locating this text within its historical context.


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If we had such information we might be able to tell more confidently whether this compilation is in fact unique or whether there are other copies. I will make some effort to situate the component parts of the text within their literary context - to cite sources and parallels.

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For the most part, however, I will focus on the contents of this specific compilation, this microcosm of clerical magic as it was known in the late Middle Ages. Necromancy and Necromancers in Fifteenth-Century Munich The fact that our necromantic manuscript is now in the Bavarian State Library is not, of course, any indication that it came originally from Munich or even from Bavaria, but its inclusion among the earlier codices of the collection suggests that, wherever its materials were first assembled, they may have been brought to Munich and acquired by the ducal library at an early date.

Even if this connection is conjectural, it may thus be interesting to inquire what we know of the practice and perception of necromancy in late medieval Munich.

Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Menace innominée (Littérature Française) (French Edition)

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