Rural versus Urban Magic
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The pages of this book are populated by a motley cast of characters, all of whom found themselves living, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Saragossa. We know something of their lives because a common thread bound them together: they all had to defend themselves against charges of practising what we today would call ‘magic’, a word encompassing a whole range of activities known at the time by different names — witchcraft, sorcery, charms, enchantments, conjurations, divination, superstition and so on. Beneath all such practices lay the desire to achieve the impossible, to perform miraculous feats that contravened the laws of nature (flying, becoming invisible, transforming men and women into animals, accurately predicting the future, and other such wonders). In order to differentiate more precisely between magic and religion, it should be added that, in a Christian context, magical practitioners do not, in theory, call on God and other heavenly beings (the Virgin, angels, saints), instead addressing their invocations to supernatural forces from the opposite end of the spectrum (in other words, Satan and his cohorts).
KeywordsCity Wall Supernatural Force Harsh Sentence Temporary Migrant Labourer Trial Summary
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- 3.Julio Caro Baroja, The World of the Witches, trans. Nigel Glen dinning, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964, p. 100.Google Scholar
- 5.See Walter Stephens, op. cit. and Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze. Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
- 82.See John Putnam Demos, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of New England, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 275.Google Scholar