superstition

Ideas on Tap: Gender, Power, and Magic in Medieval Europe

While the popular imagination connects witchcraft with women, learned magic was considered unsuitable for women in medieval Europe. Join UCLA scholar Kersti Francis for a look at magical women in medieval literature—and at magic's power to delineate and disrupt gender roles.

Medieval Monsters, and the Problem of Evil – Dr Stephen Asma /Zoom

In this illustrated lecture Dr. Asma will examine the major kinds of medieval monsters that were feared but also “cavorted with” during the Middle Ages. Some natural monsters of the ancient period continued in the medieval, but also many demons and theological monsters emerged with unprecedented terror.

Ideas on Tap: Medieval Magic – Then and Now

Quench your thirst for knowledge at Ideas on Tap, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History's monthly pub talk—now served virtually on Zoom and Facebook. What comes out of witch bottles? Where does Hallowe’en candy come from? Is that unicorn horn real? Join University of Oregon folklorist Martha Bayless and explore the surprising history of medieval magic, along with some examples that are still with us today.

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World (2019)

A celebration of the visual contributions of the bestiary—one of the most popular types of illuminated books during the Middle Ages—and an exploration of its lasting legacy. Brimming with lively animals both real and fantastic, the bestiary was one of the great illuminated manuscript traditions of the Middle Ages. Encompassing imaginary creatures such as the unicorn, siren, and griffin; exotic beasts including the tiger, elephant, and ape; as well as animals native to Europe like the beaver, dog, and hedgehog, the bestiary is a vibrant testimony to the medieval understanding of animals and their role in the world.

Strange Histories: The Trial of the Pig, the Walking Dead, & Other Matters of Fact from the Medieval & Renaissance Worlds (2017)

Strange Histories is an exploration of some of the most extraordinary beliefs that existed in the late Middle Ages through to the end of the seventeenth century. Presenting serious accounts of the appearance of angels and demons, sea monsters and dragons within European and North American history, this book moves away from "present-centred thinking" and instead places such events firmly within their social and cultural context.

The Book of Werewolves: Being an Account of a Terrible Superstition (2016)

Not relegating the werewolf just to a secular and skeptical study, nor simply to spiritual banter, this work compresses an enormous span of historical material; a work which is no doubt of value to the academic and those involved with the occult at the same time.

Medieval Ghost Stories: An Anthology of Miracles, Marvels & Prodigies (2016)

Stories of restless spirits returning from the afterlife are as old as storytelling. In medieval Europe ghosts, nightstalkers and unearthly visitors from parallel worlds had been in circulation since before the coming of Christianity.

Medieval Dead (2014)

Delve into the past as the Medieval Dead give up their secrets. Engaging accounts and background given by leaders in their field as well as reenactments help to flesh out these stories from accross the ages.

Vampires, Burial, & Death: Folklore & Reality (2010)

In this engrossing book, Paul Barber surveys centuries of folklore about vampires and offers the first scientific explanation for the origins of the vampire legends. 

Ghosts in the Middle Ages: The Living & the Dead in Medieval Society (1999)

Through this vivid study, Jean-Claude Schmitt examines medieval religious culture and the significance of the widespread belief in ghosts, revealing the ways in which the dead and the living related to each other during the middle ages.

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