© 2018

Medicine, Magic and Art in Early Modern Norway

Conceptualizing Knowledge

  • Traces conceptual ideas of knowledge in Norway from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries

  • Assesses how magic and medicine were viewed as practical and sacred in early modern Europe

  • Utilises a wide range of early modern manuscripts from 1650 -1850, known as Black Books


Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 1-30
  3. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 31-65
  4. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 67-98
  5. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 99-139
  6. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 141-175
  7. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 177-200
  8. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 201-226
  9. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 227-252
  10. Ane Ohrvik
    Pages 253-262
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 263-302

About this book


This book addresses magical ideas and practices in early modern Norway. It examines a large corpus of Norwegian manuscripts from 1650-1850 commonly called Black Books which contained a mixture of recipes on medicine, magic, and art.
Ane Ohrvik assesses the Black Books from the vantage point of those who wrote the manuscripts and thus offers an original study of how early modern magical practitioners presented their ideas and saw their practices. The book show how the writers viewed magic and medicine both as practical and sacred art and as knowledge worth protecting through encoding the text. The study of the Black Books illuminates how ordinary people in Norway conceptualized magic as valuable and useful knowledge worth of collecting and saving despite the ongoing witchcraft prosecutions targeting the very same ideas and practices as the books promoted. 
Medicine, Magic and Art in Early Modern Norway is essential for those looking to advance their studies in magical beliefs and practices in early modern Europe as well as those interested in witchcraft studies, book history, and the history of knowledge.


Black Books health Scandanavia witchcraft book history

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway

About the authors

Ane Ohrvik is Associate Professor in Cultural History at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has published widely on topics relating to magic and witchcraft, history of medicine, rituals, book history, and history of knowledge.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Medicine, Magic and Art in Early Modern Norway
  • Book Subtitle Conceptualizing Knowledge
  • Authors Ane Ohrvik
  • Series Title Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-46741-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-69131-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-46742-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 302
  • Number of Illustrations 6 b/w illustrations, 27 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Cultural History
    History of Early Modern Europe
    History of Medicine
    Social History
    History of the Book
  • Buy this book on publisher's site