Chevron Left
Back to Magic in the Middle Ages

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

1,488 ratings
489 reviews

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.

Filter by:

51 - 75 of 486 Reviews for Magic in the Middle Ages

By Nazire C

Mar 5, 2017

This course was great! I thoroughly enjoyed my time and the information given in this course. The videos are short, maximum of about 10 minutes, but they're packed. I learned so much of what I had never known before. The videos were well formed and outlined, without leaving the student watching and rewatching the video to understand what was being said. I wish it was longer!

By bluebird S

Oct 28, 2021

I have always been interested in magic and witchcraft, but have only read standalone books addressing specific periods so I did not have a clear view of its history and the timeline of its development. This course was really helpful and I have learned quite a bit. I'm now intrigued by the Near East and the Islamic point of view on this topic. Thank you. I really enjoyed it.

By Eduardo E M V

Mar 27, 2018

Very interesting course. It give the student a panoramic view of magic and witchcraft in the middle ages specially in the geographic locations of Europe (Spain, France and Italy) and the Arabic domains. I liked very much the course because It let me interact with ancient books and documents and also it let me know about arabic alchemy and some details of arabic Spain.

By Daniel F A

Apr 22, 2017

My ignorance or Magic, middle ages, early religions, is enormous. This course was a huge eye opener. In Stephen Kings novel, 11/22/63 he often writes about things turning on a dime. My brain was just spun like a top on the dime "Magic in the Middle Ages" and I will never be the same again, in a good enlightened way. Thanks to all involved with creating this course.

By Adam J

Sep 2, 2017

This was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the fast pace of the course. The week on magic in Islam was nice to see because it introduced me to an unfamiliar aspect of the age. I particularly enjoyed the Geomancy module and found the general demonstration of the method interesting. Also, the peer graded assignments made me really consider the material in a different context.

By Elissavet M

Jan 3, 2021

I have a great interest in the history behind magic, so I was charmed by this course. The professors were excellent, understandable and well-educated. The content of the course was truly dedicated in remaining true to history values while exploring the way medieval people realised magic. All in all, fascinating! I am very satisfied, would do again!

By Andres F A G

Mar 25, 2020

Muy recomendado para quienes estén interesados en la historia medieval y la magia. Me pareció agradable, ameno e interesante en todas las temáticas. el módulo adicional de astrología y geomancia también fue grato así como los vídeos opcionales. Tiene una rica bibliografía y los temas son abordados en forma clara, concisa por varios docentes.

By Maria d l A R A

Jun 8, 2020

I really enjoy to take this course. The information was clear, complete and based on an extensive bibliography. The videos were interesting and entertaining. I liked the way of rating the course by peer-graded assignment because it gives you the opportunity to evaluate yourself when you are reviewing you classmates' essays.


Jul 14, 2020

This was a great course that gives a general view of the magic, forms, and perception of it in the Medieval Times in the perspective of History. It is really interesting and gives you better explanation of some aspects of the Medieval Times. It also has good bibliographical recommendations that also recommend to check out.

By Deleted A

Dec 31, 2016

This course is super interesting and amazing!! The content is deep and complete. The instructors are engaging. I honestly think is one of the best courses I ever took here. I'm only sorry that they took out some videos available in the last edition and the page external to coursera where they were posted doesn't work =/

By Reetika G

Jan 27, 2017

The course material was quite insightful giving glimpses of what magic was perceived as during the Middle Ages. I particularly liked the material on witchcraft and Astrology. I hope there will be second part to this course! Thank you all the professors and other members of the team. I enjoyed every part of it!

By Leticia A

Nov 23, 2020

I found the contents of this course really amazing, the teachers are highly prepared and overall I just enjoyed it very much!

If I had to mention something to improve, I would say the way the course finishes, because I found it a little cold, without a proper ending for it.

But, to sum up, very recommendable!

By Kristína V

May 5, 2021

This is my first online course that I did to challenge myself. Even though my profession does not have anything to do with subject of the course, I really enjoyed and gained new knowledge about the history of magic. Very well explained. I also learned new vocabulary. Thank you for your effort in this course.

By Heather R

Jun 20, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. My favorite teachers were the first 2, Dr Pau Castell Granados and Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel. I would love to see more courses from these 2 amazing teachers. Courses on magic in Islam, Judaism,Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism as well as other world religions would be fascinating.

By Pat B

Oct 18, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course, it challenged me with writing essays to make me draw conclusions rather than just quizzes with multiple choice answers. I found I was thinking about the course material and the additional suggestions for further learning long after each module. Great course, great fun!

By Faith P

May 17, 2020

Great course. A lot of fellow students complained about the scoring method of the assignments, but if you know how to source more information then you will have trouble getting a perfect score. It is supposed to be challenging and it succeeds in developing a critical mind within beginner-level academia.

By Myvanwy W

Dec 8, 2019

I really loved this course, it was really well structured and the content was fascinating. I liked that it created a well rounded picture and didn't just list a lot of facts to memorise. The instructors gave instruction about the practice of studying history and not just the history itself.

By Skylar S

Apr 12, 2020

A wonderful look into beliefs and practices in the past. I definitely learned a thing or two about putting my own biases away and looking at this time period through a strictly historical lens. It wasn't a big time commitment as well! It flowed nicely from one unit to the other.

By Nicole D

Aug 30, 2016

Very accessible and insightful course. I do wish that suggested prompts were created for the forums, that's my only "complaint." I found the videos rich with historical context and the list of resources to be very valuable. I have already recommended the course to my friends.

By Luz M G F

Dec 16, 2020

Excelente curso!! amo los temas históricos que tengan que ver con cosmogonías y esta fue una gran oportunidad de aprender en la época de la edad media - periodo en el cual recientemente culminé un curso de historia del arte pues soy estudiante de Artes Plásticas en Colombia!!

By Adrian G

Aug 23, 2021

A beautiful way of learning and knowing in an academic way, a knowledge that has unfortunately been highly ridiculed by the mass media. I congratulate the teachers and the institution, which in such a professional way, makes such valuable information available to humanity.

By Zeta

Mar 19, 2020

Excellent lectures and readings. I also had fun during the assignments. It is overall a very well made course with lots of historical information, that is easy to research and understand even if you have a different educational background. Thank you for making it possible!

By Karen S

May 19, 2020

This was a great course. It expanded my understanding of magic in the middle ages and also of the Medieval world in general. I particularly enjoyed the two peer-graded assignments as they were challenging and gave me a chance to engage more deeply with the material.

By Jessica B

Jul 25, 2021

This course was excellent! The subjects were well-laid out, each week had incredibly engaging videos, and the way the content was presented made me feel as if I was in a lecture hall with other students. If you like Medieval history, I highly recommend this course!