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Lynn Thorndike - The Place of Magic in The Intellectual History of Europe (2.7 MB)

Cover of Lynn Thorndike's Book The Place of Magic in The Intellectual History of EuropeBook downloads: 28
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Excerpt from book: ous powers to the extent that he can fascinate and bewitch his fellows. Nor should we forget the attribution to the heavenly bodies of an enormous influence over minerals and vegetation, over human health and character, over national constitutions and customs, even over religious movements. We find this notion of occult virtue extended to things without physical realityt to words, to numbers, to written characters and formulae. It is applied to certain actions and ways of doing thingst to " ligatures and s... More >>>
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Category 1:  Mystic and Occultism
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Author:      Lynn Thorndike
Format:      eBook
Excerpt from book: ous powers to the extent that he can fascinate and bewitch his fellows. Nor should we forget the attribution to the heavenly bodies of an enormous influence over minerals and vegetation, over human health and character, over national constitutions and customs, even over religious movements. We find this notion of occult virtue extended to things without physical realityt to words, to numbers, to written characters and formulae. It is applied to certain actions and ways of doing thingst to " ligatures and suspensions," for instance. Then there was the belief that wonders may be wrought by the aid of demons, and that incantations, suffumigations, and the like are of great value in invoking spirits. Finally, there was a vague general notion that not only are the ethereal and elementary worlds joined by occult sympathy, but that all parts of the universe are somehow mystically connected, and that perhaps a single magic key may be discovered by which we may become masters of the entire universe. How shall we classify these beliefs ? What shall we call them? What is their meaning, what their origin and cause? As for classification, it is easy to suggest names .which partially apply to some of these notions, or adequately characterize them individually. The art of signatures, oneiromancy, augury, divination, astrology, alchemy, the Cabala, sorcery, and necromancy are some designations which at once come to mind. But no one of them is at all adequate as a class name for all these beliefs and the practices which they involve, taken together. Are not these notions, nevertheless, closely allied is there not an intimate relation between them all ? And is not " magic " a term which will include them all and denote the general subject, the philosophy and the art, of which they all are branc...