Tuesday 5 May 2015

Online Magic School: Magic in the Middle Ages

If you want to learn about magic in the Middle Ages, then here is a free online course that covers the history of witches, heretics, inquisitors, alchemy, relics and the Holy Grail.

The six-week course is offered by the University of Barcelona and is in English but with subtitles in Catalan and Spanish. Here is the information from the university's Coursera website:
About the Course
Magical thought has always attracted human imagination. In this course we will introduce you to the Middle Ages through a wide conception of magic. Students will have an approach to medieval culture, beliefs and practices from the perspective of different areas of knowledge (History, Literature, Art History and History of Science). Popular magic, as well as magie savante (alchemy, geomancy and necromancy) will be addressed and we will also deal with artistic manifestations, such as relics, art objects, the Saint Grail and Arthurian literature. Magic in the Middle Ages offers a captivating overview of medieval society and promotes reflection about certain stereotypes associated with this period.

Course Syllabus
Week 1. Introduction to medieval magic (Pau Castell).
Week 2. Magic and Heresy (Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel).
Week 3. From Magic to Witchcraft (Pau Castell).
Week 4. Magic in Islam (Godefroid de Callataÿ and Sébastien Moureau).
Week 5. The Magical World of Celtic Culture (Gemma Pellissa Prades).
Week 6. The Magic of Objects (Noemi Álvarez da Silva).

Course Format
Each module contains from five to six videos about its main topic. The videos last 7 minutes approximately and you will be asked to answer a test at the end of each video. There are also scheduled activities in the forum as well as complementary materials. There is a short and straightforward peer-to-peer assignment in unit 5, which we strongly encourage you to take as an opportunity to reflect about Arthurian literature and to exchange your opinion with your peers.
There are no pre-requirements for taking this course and only one book that is required reading: The Knight of the Cart or Lancelot by Chrétien de Troyes. An optional bibliography is also offered. To sign up follow this link: https://www.coursera.org/course/magicmiddleages

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