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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Magic in the Middle Ages by Universitat de Barcelona

1,496 ratings

About the Course

Magical thought has always attracted human imagination. In this course we will introduce you to the Middle Ages through a wide conception of magic. Students will have an approach to medieval culture, beliefs and practices from the perspective of History and History of Science. Popular magic, as well as learned magic (alchemy, geomancy and necromancy) will be addressed. Moreover, we will also deal with how eastern practices and texts influenced western culture. In July 2016, the course will contain a brand-new module devoted to astrology. Magic in the Middle Ages offers a captivating overview of medieval society and promotes reflection about certain stereotypes associated with this period. At the end of the course, the students: a) will have overcome the usual prejudices about the Middle Ages, b) will be able to analyze historical documentation from the Middle Ages and recognize the most common patterns of juridical documents regarding witchcraft, and c) will be capable of distinguishing between popular magic and the magic of the learned people; will have a notion of which spiritual practices were allowed in medieval Europe and which ones were related to the devil, and will be aware of the link between a cultural product and the society that produced it. This course is taught in English, although subtitles in English, Catalan and Spanish will also be provided. COURSE SYLLABUS Week 1. Introduction to medieval magic (Pau Castell). Week 2. Magic & Heresy (Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel). Week 3. From Magic to Witchcraft (Pau Castell). Week 4. Magic in Islam (Godefroid de Callataÿ and Sébastien Moureau). Week 5. Astrology & Geomancy (Theo Loinaz, Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel, Godefroid de Callataÿ and Blanca Villuendas). © Gemma Pellissa Prades (coord.), Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel and Joana Palau Mumany Magic in the Middle Ages by Gemma Pellissa Prades (coord.), Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel and Joana Palau Mumany is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License....

Top reviews


Mar 23, 2018

Helpful and insightful. I try to learn as much about witchcraft and all religions as I can. The first set of videos were well lit and well read. I recommend this for anyone who wants to learn more.


Jul 14, 2020

This course was really thorough and interesting. I liked how it covered a range of religions and regions and I think it's great how there are interactive assignments which judge out writing.

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476 - 486 of 486 Reviews for Magic in the Middle Ages


Mar 11, 2021

Content was good, but could not complete the coursework due to dead links

By Elaine H

Jan 30, 2022

​class was interesting but thae assignment didnt make sense so i with


Oct 21, 2019

Starts off well, but the peer graded assignment in week 3 is not clear on expectations until you enter the stage of reviewing other students' submissions. Then week 4 is an indigestible lump of names and treatise titles that is hard to follow and hazy in purpose. The only video in that week that is very comprehensible is the weekly video. To top it all off, the external link in week 5, which you need in order to complete that peer reviewed assignment, is no longer available (and has been gone for at least a month, according to the forum), and the educators are MIA, & have not responded to the issue. Honestly, I personally dislike the entire peer reviewed assignment as a part of the courses on Coursera. Some students do not take them seriously, and it's also frustrating waiting for someone to review your submission. The submissions are really just a regurgitation of what we've learned, anyway, which is just as easily done with quizzes.

By Marlena S

Apr 7, 2021

First of all this course is far from schooling people how to create own opinions. Tests are mostly about opinions...opinions of the teachers that you have to support. I had much higher expectations seeing the high average reviews of the course.

Secondly, the program of the course skips quite many important aspects of the topic of magic in the middle ages. I believe much better choice than this course will be the book 'A history of Magic, witchcraft and the occult' written by British historians.

Oh, and also non-native English teachers try to use fancy words they have issues to pronounce.

By Fernando L R

Apr 23, 2022

Morally I cannot give the course a higher grade, as it asks students to justify the actions of murderers and torturers.

By Brianna C G

Jan 18, 2021

The way things were worded made little to no since, and were very confusing if not completely not understandable.

By aouas D

Jan 24, 2021

It good, but unfortunately I could not finish the course due to last exam because have broken links

By Deleted A

May 5, 2020

The actual course videos don't give you much concise information, but a lot of ideas and is aimed at a very historic way of studying, which probably won't fit the needs and expectations of someone who is learning about this topic for fun and entertainment, because this approach makes the course incredibly boring. The tests are hard because they target very precise and disposable details pulled out of the myriad of information that was put forward in the videos. The essay assignment was quite pointless and it was very hard to write about the details, pull out the necessary information and to reach the goals the teachers have set. I recommended this course to a friend at before I took it, I hope he didn't start this course because he would just be wasting his time.

By Melanie W

Jan 2, 2022

I​ only took Chapter One, but the scoring system didn't work no matter what I did. Interesting material but if the quiz won't function, there's not much point to taking the course.

By Peter C

Jul 7, 2021

Difficult to understand th tutor