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The Book of Magic - From Antiquity to the Enlightenment

The Book of Magic - From Antiquity to the Enlightenment

Brian Copenhaver (Ed.)

Penguin Classics




20.1 x 13.3 x 3.3

679 pages

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'. . . as when iron is drawn to a magnet, camphor is sucked into hot air, crystal lights up in the Sun, sulfur and a volatile liquid are kindled by flame, an empty eggshell filled with dew is raised towards the Sun . . .' This rich, fascinating anthology of the western magical tradition stretches from its roots in the wizardry of the Old Testament and the rituals of the ancient world, through writers such as Thomas Aquinas, John Milton, John Dee and Matthew Hopkins, and up to the tangled, arcane beginnings of the scientific revolution. Arranged historically, with commentary, this book includes incantations, charms, curses, Golems, demons and witches, as well as astrology, divination and alchemy, with some ancient and medieval works which were once viewed as too dangerous even to open. Brian Copenhaver, professor of philosophy and history and former provost of UCLA’s College of Letters and Science, is publishing two books about the scholarly underpinnings of magic. Copenhaver studies magic and related beliefs and practices — astrology, demonology, divination, Kabbalah — as parts of normative philosophy and science as they were a few centuries ago. His research shows that magic and other occult beliefs and practices were supported primarily by the philosophy and science of Aristotle and Aristotelian scholasticism, which dominated European culture from the 13th through 17th centuries.
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