Document Type

Book Review

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

Summer 2010

Journal or Book Title

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft

Volume

5

Issue

1

First Page

124

Last Page

127

DOI

10.1353/mrw.0.0174

Abstract

For all that magicians sometimes employed signs, symbols, gestures, stones, or herbs, spoken spells still comprise the most pervasive magical device in Western culture. The very ubiquity of verbal formulas in many forms of magical operation make words a difficult subject for scholars to grasp. In this impressive study, Béatrice Delaurenti takes a carefully limited approach. As her subtitle indicates, she examines intellectual debates about the power of words in the Middle Ages. In fact, she focuses on a period of intense debate that lasted, in her analysis, from around 1230 to around 1370. These dates mark important "parentheses," as she will ultimately term them in her conclusion, that bracket an era in which some authorities gave serious consideration to the potential natural power contained in incantations.

Comments

This is a book review from Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 5 (2010): 124, doi:10.1353/mrw.0.0174. Posted with permission.

Rights

All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of scholarly citation, none of this work may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. For information address the University of Pennsylvania Press, 3905 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112

Copyright Owner

University of Pennsylvania Press

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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