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

1,197 ratings
377 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 24, 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 15, 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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51 - 75 of 375 Reviews for Magic in the Middle Ages

By Myvanwy W

Dec 08, 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 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 Éwerton d O C

Feb 10, 2020

Excelente curso! Os professores envolvidos no projeto são grandes especialistas, respaldados por uma ampla gama de referências bibliográficas riquíssimas. Recomendo o curso, especialmente para quem está cursando Bacharel/Licenciatura em História, vale a pena.

By Ruth F R

Feb 29, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course, the content was far more interesting than I thought it would be. I was particularly intrigued by the mathematical-based instruments (astrolabes) and the divination technique of geomancy. A very worthwhile course, thank you.

By Hagai P

Nov 29, 2016

I really liked the course.

It was very interesting and the two instructors conveyed the information in an interesting way, highlighting the important topics/keywords/people..

It showed another aspect of the middle ages that I was not aware off.

Hagai Pettel

By Russell B

May 25, 2020

This was a lovely course, and I truly enjoyed it. I only wish it had contained more topics and been a bit longer. I hope it will keep growing. E.g. the optional material on the Great Year doctrine could be developed further and added as an extra week.

By Raul M P d l C

Mar 10, 2020

I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot about the topic, from a neutral and accurate point of view. I recommend this course for those interested in medieval history as magic was an intrinsical part of that particular time in history.

By Nadia R A

Nov 21, 2018

A beautiful walk through history. The current conception of magic and witches comes from all the real fear and beliefs of the society during the late middle age, the mysticism about it makes this one of the most interesting courses offered.

By Marijn v J

Jun 04, 2020

I am not a historian and this course gave me a new look at this part of history. The enthusiasm of the organisers stood out - as well as their engagement with the questions asked on the forum. I will definitely recommend it to others.

By Martha E P M

Feb 21, 2017

Excelente curso super recomendable para todos, te sirve como aprendizaje de cultura general, pero sobre todo como parte del conocimiento de magia que uno tiene.

Gracias COURSERA y universidad de Barcelona por este curso impartido

By Christine L C

Mar 01, 2019

This was a fantastic course! It was about the history of the relationship between magic and various religions. It makes me eager to learn more about several tangent subjects. Thank you for offering this as a MOOC! I loved it.

By Aaron A J

Nov 20, 2018

Very informative! Crucial to the understanding of ancient beliefs and modern alike. A wonderful course, thank you for offering this. I really enjoyed it, and I absolutely recommend this course for anyone who loves HISTORY! 😀

By István Ő

Oct 28, 2019

I really loved the videos, and the entire course was really informing. I got a complex picture of how people in the Middle Ages thought about magic and witchraft. I can recommend it to anyone who is interested in this topic.

By Sumor S

Feb 19, 2017

Very interesting and objective class. I think I will take it again because I learned so much about something I needed to study a bit. also it is shot so well! And I love the bibliographies… they may be a favorite of mine...

By Ingrid M P

Jun 19, 2020

Estuvo genial, solo que deberia de ser en español y mas por que es de la universidad de barcelona! muchas gracias! ahora mi pregunta es, si compro el diploma sale con el sello de la universitat de barcelona o de coursera

By Gregg H

Jan 11, 2017

Fascinating course from two incredible institutions, an opportunity at Christian, Islamic and Jewish magic of the Middle Ages and think about the historical relationships of not only religion but also science to magic.

By Fernanda B

Oct 14, 2017

I'm really enjoying all the information received on this course.

I can definitely understand a lot about this world we live in by going through all that happened in the past. And this contend is highly determinant.

By María S M T

May 05, 2020

The course is fantastic, I really like everything related to magic and its history, I would like to know if there are more courses of this type that you offer, I would do it without thinking twice, thank you!!

By Tina R

Oct 02, 2016

Great learning experience!

I enjoyed all the videos, the presented material, and the interaction with other students enrolled in the course... I will recommend this course to anyone interested in this topic :-)

By Ana L M G

Jun 08, 2020

Aprendes muchísimo si realmente tomas notas y pones atención en las unidades. Tiene bastante información que no se encuentra fácilmente en la web pero no por eso se ponen estrictos al momento de calificar :D

By Angel H

Sep 15, 2020

Curso excelente y excelentes colaboraciones de la universidad católica de Lovaina sobre la magia en el Islam y sobre Geomancia de la Sra.Villuendas. Gracias a todos los profesores.

Un saludo.

Angel Hualda