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

1,546 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 - 500 of 502 Reviews for Magic in the Middle Ages

By Alejandro

Jul 25, 2020

muy bueno,gracias

By Michelle I

Nov 17, 2017


By cereza c

May 22, 2020

Very Good

By laura b b

Mar 4, 2018


By Carlos J

Jan 23, 2017


By Phil R

Jun 27, 2020

I greatly enjoyed this course. Yes, it's pretty basic and lacking in depth at times but hey it's a beginner's course, designed to introduce the topic and highlight the main areas which you can then go off and look into in more detail off-line. It's very wide-ranging, covers off the key issues/themes and does it with passion and intelligence. There is some housekeeping to do around the final assignment where a key link was broken and hadn't been repaired but otherwise, highly enjoyable. It filled the Covid 19 lockdown admirably; thank you!

By kerrie c

Sep 5, 2022

The content of this course was great and covered all aspects of Magic in the Middle Ages.

The course itself and how it is run needs an overhaul.

1. Assessments are unclear and confusing.

2. Waiting on several other peers to mark assessments is frustrating.

3. A summary at the end of each video/module would be welcome. More than once I thought I had clearly understood the content but was marked incorrect on the quiz.

If these issues were fixed I would be more than happy to study with Coursera again.

By Carlos R Á H

Mar 10, 2021

Good and interesting course. I think videos could be made more entertaining, lectures are very dense and I think they could be broken up a bit more, and the links for the final assignment are not working (You need to take a deep look into the forums to find working links and guides made by classmats) and I think the "optional" videos should not be optional and be evaluated as well. Other than that, the course is very fun, interesting and there's a lot to learn from it.

By Sofía R

Feb 11, 2021

When I first read the title I thought it would be very different to what it really is. It's interesting from an historical point of view.

The inquisition and religions are the main topic, and how they treated magic back then, but it doesn't explain much of what was done.

I couldn't complete the last assignments because the links are broken, I suppose because the course is a little bit old.

By Jesús A P N

Nov 25, 2019

All information is useful and interesting. Teachers are kind and you can tell they love their field. Unfortunately the videos are too simple; no extra images, important sentences (very few) it´s just the person talking. I had to just read the transcripts in order no to fall asleep.

By Pablo S S

Sep 25, 2016

It is a very interesting course, but in the beginning it may seem a bit disorganised and slow. The best part, for me, was the week 4, about magic in Islam. The topic was fascinating and the teachers presented a perfect lecture, a great balance between deep but easy to follow.

By Cat S

Sep 28, 2020

Mostly a very well thought out and interesting course - the week dedicated to magic and Islam was mostly a list of names and so quite dull. Some issues with the peer assignments - links not working etc.

By Samantha S

Jul 2, 2022

Enjoyable course; but I sort of seemed to lose focus or interest in Week 5; would have liked more time spent on the concepts in the first four weeks. The Geomany video needs improvement.

By Eric T M P G

Jan 25, 2017

Overall a good course, with a section on Islam and Magic that felt very well elaborated. All peer graded exercises however were poorly designed and had awful correction criteria.

By Jorelle B

Mar 7, 2020

First class, very interesting. Lot of facts and somethings I already knew from history class. Good introduction to coursera and view of magic

By Christina L

May 3, 2020

Very difficult to understand! Both the audio and the written text.

I had to do additional research to understand the flow of information.

By Deleted A

Jul 25, 2017

The video quality needs improvement and some terms students are not familiar with might be better understood with more explanation.


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 Ismael D S

Jan 24, 2021

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

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.