Monday, February 27, 2012

Bibliographic Addendum

I generally don't include bibliographies, but for anyone who wants to follow up on my descriptions of mediaeval and Renaissance magic in my last post, here's where I'd recommend starting:

Richard Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages and Forbidden Rites
D.P. Walker, Spiritual and Demonic Magic (more for the Renaissance approach)

These books might give you a few ideas as well:

Owen Davies, Grimoires (a bit light on thesis, but absolutely full of interesting trivia)
Ioan Couliano, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance (his conclusions are debatable, but his argument is intriguing)
Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (very influential, although her thesis rests on extremely shaky foundations)

(I can provide plenty more for anyone who's interested. If you're going to pick one to start with, get either of Kieckhefer's books.)

In terms of online resources, Twilit Grotto is probably best, though I see it hasn't been updated recently. The Alchemy Web Site is also quite handy, if you're fond of that sort of thing.



  1. I bought Magic in the Middle Ages when I was 16 because I thought it sounded cool (What? I was 16). I remember loaning it to an adult while in high school who was programming a MUD and wanted to do a Necromancer class.

    (And yes, I still have it.)

  2. It's a great overview of the subject, and Kieckhefer's someone I have a lot of respect for. A lot of the people I've met who study that material are great on historical and textual details, but he's one of the few who can go the extra step to explain why those details are interesting in an academic context.