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Summary Of The Magician, The Witch, And The Law

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The Magician, the Witch, and the Law was a timeline of the people, events, and documents that significantly influenced the development of magic and witchcraft persecution. Edward Peters formed his timeline beginning with early Christianity and ending with the sixteenth century. The study argued that these people, events, and documents led to the persecution and burning of witches in the seventeenth century. The timeline began with the explanation of harsh Greek and Roman laws against magos. The laws were harsh because magic was a disruption of society and the cause of political instability (9). Magos were practitioners of magic or those who used the power of divine or demonic sources. Christians were primarily concerned with first proving that…show more content…
The purpose of many of these writings was not to describe actual events. Anselm of Besate was one author who wrote this type of literature. Anselm authored an influential piece of literature called the Rhetorimachia. Anselm wrote about magic, witches, and sorcery in a fictitious manner; he was a writer. Like an artist, Anselm’s writing was a medium to show his skill and creativity; the literature was rhetorical. Anselm wrote Rhetorimachia for an audience to enjoy. Although this work was fictitious it was possible that experiences that occurred around him influenced Anselm’s…show more content…
Peters lays out three theories about why Philip IV persecuted the Templars. First, for their money. Second, Philip wanted to be King of Jerusalem and give France to his son. Third, Boniface VIII humiliated Philip when he accused Philip of crimes against God. Philip did not believe that the Church who accused him was the real Church. The false Church had false followers who practiced idolatry, the false followers including the Templars. Philip wanted to eradicate this fake Church. The Templar’s trial was significant because magic and sorcery was viewed as idolatry; sorcery and magic was an attack on Christianity. The idea of a vulnerable Church continued into later centuries, which ultimately strengthened the Church by offsetting the vulnerability. This showed that the courts were not beyond attacking the Pope or other people in
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