English | Mar 30, 2006 | ISBN: 0199282226 | 2698 Pages | PDF | 2 MB
Magic and Impotence in the Middle Ages investigates the common medieval belief that magic could cause impotence, focusing particularly on the period 1150-1450.
The subject has never been studied in detail before, but there is a surprisingly large amount of information about it in four kinds of source: confessors' manuals; medical compendia that discussed many illnesses; commentaries on canon law; and theological commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Although most historians of medieval culture focus on only one or two of these kinds of source, a broader comparison reveals that medieval writers held surprisingly diverse opinions about what magic was, how it worked, and whether it was ever legitimate to use it.
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