Saturday 14 January 2017

Online Magic School: Magic in the Middle Ages

I can thoroughly recommend a course on magic in the Middle Ages that is due to start on January 16 via online study forum Coursera. I enrolled on the course myself a couple of years ago and thought it was excellent.

The five-week course is offered by the University of Barcelona and is in English but with subtitles in Catalan and Spanish. Looking at the syllabus, I noticed that there's a slight change to the programme from the one I followed - a week on the Holy Grail has been replaced with lessons on Astrology and Geomancy. As this can be accessed for free, I'm tempted to sign up just to study the new material.

When I did the course it was completely free. Each module contained five to six videos about its main topic with a test at the end of each one. There were also scheduled activities in a forum as well as complementary materials. This time round you can access the videos and some of the assignments for free, but if you want to do all the activities and get a certificate at the end of it, then you have to pay £38, which isn't a lot to be honest.

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 History and History of Science. Popular magic, as well as learned magic (alchemy, geomancy and necromancy) will be addressed. Moreover, we will also deal with how eastern practices and texts influenced western culture.The course will contain a brand-new module devoted to astrology. 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. Astrology and Geomancy (Theo Loinaz, Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel, Godefroid de Callataÿ and Blanca Villuendas).
To sign up follow this link:

I used a link to the DVD of the movie The Name of the Rose to illustrate this post, as that was referred to in the lessons on Magic and Heresy when I took the course.

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