The project explores magic imageries in Europe between 1100 and 1650. The iconographical study focuses on personifications used in magic, such as the planetary deities depicted on talismans. The material consists of talismans and Latin manuals of learned magic that treat the fabrication of images.
During the last 25 years, magic has become an important issue in cultural studies, yet basic research on magical imageries still remains to be done. The goal is to produce new knowledge regarding the historical developments of image magic and its significance in medieval society and science. At a societal level, the project examines the reasons for the success of magical systems, both historically and in modern times.
The current study applies methods of philology, historical sciences, art history and statistical analysis. The project will be carried out at the University of Jyväskylä and other key sites (Florence, London, Vienna).