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  • New History Books: Magic in Western Culture September 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books , trackback

    Magic in Western Culture

    Brian P. Copenhaver, Magic in Western Culture: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment (CUP, Aug 31 2015). ‘The story of the beliefs and practices called ‘magic’ starts in ancient Iran, Greece, and Rome, before entering its crucial Christian phase in the Middle Ages. Centering on the Renaissance and Marsilio Ficino – whose work on magic was the most influential account written in premodern times – this groundbreaking book treats magic as a classical tradition with foundations that were distinctly philosophical. Besides Ficino, the premodern story of magic also features Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, Aquinas, Agrippa, Pomponazzi, Porta, Bruno, Campanella, Descartes, Boyle, Leibniz, and Newton, to name only a few of the prominent thinkers discussed in this book. Because pictures play a key role in the story of magic, this book is richly illustrated.’

    Almost 600 pages. I’ve been counting the days for this one… I wonder if it really manages to keep up the story over two thousand years.