Magic in the Middle Ages

Want to learn about magic in the Middle Ages? Witches, heretics, inquisitors, the Holy Grail, alchemy, relics and much more are waiting for you in this course!

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course taught entirely in English?

This course is taught in English, although subtitles in English, Catalan and Spanish will also be provided.

How many hours should I dedicate to the course?

It depends on your willingness to learn more about the topics covered through the course, but the average dedication is estimated in 2-3 hours per week.

Will I receive a certificate at the end of the course? 

If you have passed the course with a 50% of the mark you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. This course does not offer a Signature Track, therefore you cannot earn a Verified Certificate.

What skills will I develop through the course?

By the end of the course the student:

  1. will be familiar with medieval society and will have overcome the usual prejudices about the Middle Ages,

  2. will be able to analyze the cultural products and historical documentation of the Middle Ages and recognize the most common patterns and codes within these works—artistic manifestations, literary texts (especially Arthurian literature), juridical documents (witchcraft)…—,

  3. will be capable of distinguishing between popular magic and the magic of the learned people; will have a notion of which spiritual practices were allowed in medieval Europe and which ones were related to the devil, and will be aware of the link between a cultural product and the society that produced it and how a change of space and time modifies the way that link is interpreted.

Recommended Background

There are no pre-requirements for taking this course. You are welcome to join us!