The Thing Is...Magic Manuscripts
Wednesday 25 January 2012, 18.31-20.29
Audio file coming soon...
Magic was viewed as dangerous, irresponsible and heretical by
people in the Late Middle Ages. Yet some medieval people were
nevertheless compelled - by curiosity, desire and need - to
experiment with it. Dr Sophie Page explored what magic was, why it
attracted both fascination and repulsion and what its practice
tells us about the attitudes of medieval people to their universe
and the invisible and sacred forces inhabiting it.
The mystery object unveiled during the event was
Miscellanea Alchemica XII, a late 15th century
manuscript in Dutch and Latin; one of only three surviving
manuscripts that include demonic magic. It also includes
cautious notes by later readers who didn't approve of some
items in the text.
This manuscript is from the Wellcome Library, reference
This event was recorded live at Wellcome Collection on 25