In the Middle Ages criminal cases such as theft were often investigated through ordeals and other magic rituals. Some of these included the use of instruments, such as sieves and spindles, while other required to paint the so-called “eye of Abraham” on a wall and to strike or hit it with a hammer or sharp object, in order to make the thief’s eye water or, in the worst case be put out. In this study I will focus on Medieval and Early Modern charms against thieves describing these and other rituals in the Germanic language area, on the basis of a wide - possibly exhaustive - corpus of English, German and Scandinavian texts. In this, particular attention will be paid to those texts and traditions, such as the Low German and the Scandinavian ones, which are usually only marginally, if at all, mentioned in the existing studies on Medieval charms and magic.

Painted Eyes, Magical Sieves and Carved Runes: Charms for Catching and Punishing Thieves in Medieval and Early Moder Germanic Tradition

BENATI, CHIARA
2017

Abstract

In the Middle Ages criminal cases such as theft were often investigated through ordeals and other magic rituals. Some of these included the use of instruments, such as sieves and spindles, while other required to paint the so-called “eye of Abraham” on a wall and to strike or hit it with a hammer or sharp object, in order to make the thief’s eye water or, in the worst case be put out. In this study I will focus on Medieval and Early Modern charms against thieves describing these and other rituals in the Germanic language area, on the basis of a wide - possibly exhaustive - corpus of English, German and Scandinavian texts. In this, particular attention will be paid to those texts and traditions, such as the Low German and the Scandinavian ones, which are usually only marginally, if at all, mentioned in the existing studies on Medieval charms and magic.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/877190
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