1st Edition

Love Magic and Control in Premodern Iberian Literature

By Veronica Menaldi Copyright 2022
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the complexity of Iberian identity and multicultural/multi-religious interactions in the Peninsula through the lens of spells, talismans, and imaginative fiction in medieval and early modern Iberia. Focusing particularly on love magic—which manipulates objects, celestial spheres, and demonic conjurings to facilitate sexual encounters—Menaldi examines how practitioners and victims of such magic as represented in major works produced in Castile. Magic, and love magic in particular, is an exchange of knowledge, a claim to power and a deviation from or subversion of the licit practices permitted by authoritative decrees. As such, magic serves as a metaphorical tool for understanding the complex relationships of the Christian with the non-Christian. In seeking to understand and incorporate hidden secrets that presumably reveal how one can manipulate their environment, occult knowledge became one of the funnels through which cultures and practices mixed and adapted throughout the centuries.

    Introduction: Love Magic as a Metaphor for Control and Admiration

    Convivencia, Courtly Love, and Categorizing Magic

    1. Thirteenth-Century Alfonso X’s Interest in Andalusi and Islamic Magic

    Eucharists as Magical Chastity Belts in Cantiga 104

    Demons as Tools for Magical Seduction in Cantiga 125

    2. Enchanted Spaces as Sites of Melding Thirteenth/Fourteenth-Century Knowledge

    Marriage and Temptation in the Sulfuric Lake in the Libro del Caballero Zifar

    The Devil’s Seduction of Roboán and His Loss of the Fortunate Isles in the Zifar

    3. Transgressive Clerical Employment of Fourteenth-Century Go-Betweens

    Amorous Linguistic Enchantments in Libro de buen amor

    4. Sephardi and Andalusi Influences in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Mediators

    Match-Maker Celestina’s Pantry of Herbs and Medicinal Supplies

    The Cord that Broke Courtly Love in Celestina

    5. Lingering Morisco Practices in Seventeenth-Century Imaginary

    Medieval Inspirations for Feminine Empowerment and Meddling Neighbors and Mediated Trickery of the Innocent

    Nocturnal Trace-Induced Intimacy by Moorish Necromancer in "La inocencia castigada"



    Veronica Menaldi is an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Mississippi. She received her PhD from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota in 2018. Her research focuses on premodern (medieval and early modern) Iberian literatures and cultures with an emphasis on magic, food, and cultural contact. She has articles and chapters published on Castilian and Aljamiado spells and fictions in conjunction with Andalusi, Latin, and Sephardi grimoires; and in-progress articles on the use of foodstuff in similar Iberian texts.



    "Menaldi’s book is an exemplary addition to historical Iberian magical research as well as a tribute to the memory of Iberia’s rich diverse past." - Jennifer Corry, Berry College