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About this product
- DescriptionIn the Middle Ages, textual amulets - short texts written on parchment or paper and worn on the body - were thought to protect the bearer against enemies, to heal afflictions caused by demonic invasions, and to bring the wearer good fortune. In Binding Words , Don C. Skemer provides the first book-length study of this once-common means of harnessing the magical power of words. Textual amulets were a unique source of empowerment, promising the believer safe passage through a precarious world by means of an ever-changing mix of scriptural quotations, divine names, common prayers, and liturgical formulas. Although theologians and can lawyers frequently derided textual amulets as igrant superstition, many literate clergy played a central role in producing and disseminating them. The texts were, in turn, embraced by a broad cross section of Western Europe. Saints and parish priests, physicians and village healers, landowners and peasants alike believed in their efficacy. Skemer offers careful analysis of several dozen surviving textual amulets, along with other contemporary medieval source material. In the process, Binding Words enriches our understanding of popular religion and magic in everyday medieval life.
- Author BiographyDon C. Skemer is Curator of Manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University's Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library.
- Author(s)Don C. Skemer
- PublisherPennsylvania State University Press
- Date of Publication01/02/2006
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationPennsylvania
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPennsylvania State University Press
- Content Note12 illustrations
- Weight531 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine25 mm
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