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The Court Magician in Medieval German Romance


Stephan Maksymiuk

The presence of magicians at the feudal court seems to be an odd anomaly. Yet magic in medieval culture was not something practiced by hags and wild men in forests: it was a political force. This study examines how learned and popular culture interacted to create the medieval mentality that equated learning and statecraft with magic. It focuses on how this idea was embodied in historical court magicians and how court magicians were portrayed in literature. Taking Medieval German romance as a point of departure, it explores the concept of knowledge as magic in order to gain new insight into the nature of power, its exercise and representation in the Middle Ages.
Contents: The Predecessors of the Court Magician: Magical Administrators in Roman, Celtic and Germanic Society - Medieval Christian Responses to Magical Knowledge - The Adaptation and Transformation of Magical Concepts in Medieval Court Society - Lanzelet - Parzival - Wigalois - Diu Crône - Wilhelm von Österreich.