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Title: Image and reality of the magician figure in twelfth century England
Author: Escobar Vargas, María Carolina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 6882
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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The attitudes of figures like John of Salisbury show concern about real magical practices and their practitioners in twelfth-century England, frivolous individuals who appear to have been present at court as real figures as well as being images available in literary sources. Considering the problems involved in using a priori definitions of magic for medieval practices, this study examines surviving twelfth-century sources in order to assess if coherent and appropriate historic definitions of magic and magicians occur. Three categories of evidence are considered for this purpose, and they are analysed through three different methodological approaches. First, literary textual analysis is used in order to examine the role of magic and magicians in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, an enormously fashionable and influential work, which depicted 'magic' as having played a major part in 'Ancient British' history. Second, historical analysis is used to provide an overview of the careers and interests of the individuals who brought putatively magical knowledge and skill into twelfth-century England. And finally, a detailed analysis of the concrete traces of this knowledge is produced via an examination of the manuscript context and the codicological features of surviving twelfth-century manuscripts. This thesis thus examines the perceptions and attitudes towards learned magical practices in the first half of the twelfth century in England by introducing an interdisciplinary approach using chronicles, 'scientific texts', and surviving twelfth-century manuscripts as evidence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available