Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Courtly Magic in the Middle Ages

Courtly Magic in the Middle Ages

By Meaghan Zarb

The medieval court was the centre of political life during the Middle Ages, where officials of all ranks attended to governmental affairs. As a place of wealth, influence and power, intrigues were an ordinary suspicion within the medieval court. This was the ideal environment for popular magical practices to cultivate as the employment of magical practitioners provided great political advantages. This setting reflects the Arthurian romances written during this period and it is common belief that they provide at least an embellished version of the demand and practices found in courts. Astrologers delivered a calendar of ideal times for rulers to make political decisions and alchemists, the possibility of riches and prolonged life. A knowledge of chemicals and herbs would have proved useful in intrigues where poisons and love spells were in demand. As fear and usage of magic was ever present, courtiers engaged in the practice of possessing precious stones whose properties protected them from such inflictions. Wealth and power didn’t just produce the ideal environment for rivalries but also that of the best entertainment and latest technology. The court was home to illusionists and the latest mechanical feats of engineers of the day. They also possessed the valuable minstrel, whose services provide insight into the interest courtiers held in magic.

See the rest at ... Courtly Magic in the Middle Ages

No comments:

Post a Comment