Organising Knowledge

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


Chapter 8 examines the structure of the Black Books by focussing on three recurring elements: tables of contents; headings; and paragraph headings. These elements structure the books, organise their content and help to guide the reader in the reading process. This chapter demonstrates how the structure is a response to conceptual ideas about why the books should be read and points to how the books were built, which further reveals their overall concept. It argues that the way tables of contents, headings and paragraph headings are organised and appear in the manuscripts indicates that the Black Books were intended as practical handbooks. The knowledge is organised in ways that make it easily identifiable and accessible to the reader, encouraging practical use, not contemplative reading.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ane Ohrvik
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway

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