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Characters and magic signs in the Picatrix and other Medieval magic texts
Published August 1, 2020
69–77

The word „characters” covers a number of different phenomena in the Middle Ages. It might refer to a list of incomprehensible signs and astrological symbols inscribed in a talismanic sigil, to a series of Latin letters used for magical purposes, and also to a written form of verbal incantation, a written charm. Characters were often used in... the field of talismanic or celestial magic in order to name spiritual beings. The paper reviews the use of characters in various medieval sources: textual amulets, necromantic manuals, texts on talismanic magic and the most famous medieval magical summary, the Picatrix.

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The charaktêres in Ancient and Medieval Jewish magic
Published August 1, 2020
25–44

This paper examines the different magical signs found in Jewish magical texts and artifacts in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. These include especially the Graeco-Egyptian “charaktêres” (ring-letters, Brillenbuchstaben), the Arabic “string letters” (or Siegel), and the Latin sigilla or figurae, to whi...ch one may add a few other types of magical signs. This paper surveys their appearance in Jewish magical texts of different times and places, and analyzes their function within the magical texts where they are found.

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Farmacopea de la peonia, la planta de la Luna
Published October 10, 2021
143–166.

For the Greeks, the peony plant had exceptional properties. It was used for many medicinal remedies. The most frequent were gynecological, nervous and mental diseases (insanity), as well as other minor, varied uses. This plant becomes visible at night when the moonlight falls on it. For this reason, it soon became associated with astrological ...and magical superstitions. These beliefs passed into the Latin world. It appears in herbaria and in medical treatises. In the Middle Ages it was still a plant frequently used in rural areas.

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Review of Scholarship on the Admonitions of King Saint Stephen of Hungary
Published August 10, 2020
151–158

The purpose of the following discussion is to demonstrate that the philological study of the fortuna of the Admonitions of King Saint Stephen of Hungary provides important contributions to the characteristic stages of the development of Latinist scholarship from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance until today. The Admoniti...ons, a mirror of princes composed in the eleventh century and attributed to the first Christian king of Hungary, has attracted pious and scholarly attention for a millennium – including the hagiographic tradition of medieval Hungary and the legal tradition of the Corpus iuris Hungarici. Based on its late manuscript tradition, hypercritical scholars suggested that the Admonitions was a humanist forgery or at least an interpolated and stylistically polished text. From the Renaissance on, philologists and editors have addressed various issues of textual criticism such as the problem of dating and authorship, grammatical features (orthography, morphology, and syntax), stylistic devices (vocabulary, prose rhyme and rhythm), and textual parallels (Biblical, Classical, and Carolingian Latin). The way scholars have studied the Latinity of the Admonitions against the standards of Classical, Medieval, and Humanistic Latin for centuries reveals a great deal about their own approaches to their Latinist trade in particular – and therefore about Neo-Latin studies in general.

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Biblical speech and phrases in the Vita sancti Heinrici regis et confessoris by Adalbert of Bamberg
Published August 1, 2020
187–203

The vita of the emperor Henry II. of the Holy Roman Empire (ruled between A. D. 1002-1024) compiled by a dean of Bamberg, Adalbert about 1146 or 1170, had became one of the most influential work in the medieval German hagiography. The following paper deals with the problems of the authorship and the narrative and biblical sources of th...e vita. The study has two parts: in the first will be treated about the authorship, the sources and the reception of the vita as well the author’s method in the use of the biblical phrases. We are examining those chapters of the Vita Heinrici regis, in which the author used the biblical phrasing. In the second division of our study we are setting the details of the vita with their parallels from the Bible, investigating the author’s deep knowledge of the Holy Scripture and his virtuosity in the creative use of the biblical phrases.

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