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A Medieval Book of Magical Stones: The Peterborough Lapidary

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A Medieval Book of Magical Stones: The Peterborough Lapidary


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A Medieval Book of Magical Stones is the first translation of the longest and most comprehensive medieval English treatise on the occult powers of stones and gems, the Peterborough Lapidary. Lapidaries (encyclopaedias of the ‘virtues’ of stones and minerals) were an essential resource for practitioners of natural and ritual magic as well as medicine. This late fifteenth-century manuscript from the library of Peterborough Cathedral describes 145 stones, portraying them as living beings whose properties range from giving the bearer the power to command spirits and foretell the future to healing numerous illnesses and communicating with spirits and the dead, along with instructions on how to release latent occult power from within stones. Many of the proposed uses of stones resemble the concerns of medieval necromancers, such as invisibility, love magic, power over animals and the creation of magical mirrors.

pp. xliii+106; 2 column text; introduction; bibliography; analytical index; 8 b/w illustrations

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