A History of Magic: From the Magi to Merlin
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- 24 Jul 2023
This research-intensive university in north-western Sydney offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. With over 44,000 current students, Macquarie has a strong reputation for welcoming international students and embracing flexible and convenient study options, including its partnership with Open Universities Australia.
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On successful completion of this subject, you will be able to:
- Identify evidence for the understanding and practice of magic from the ancient to early modern world.
- Assess the ways in which definitions of "magic", labelling of magical and religious phenomena, and the cultural processes via which they developed, affects our study of them.
- Consider critically the impact of later academic and popular discourses on the scholarly study and general understanding of ancient and medieval magic.
- Classify and interpret textual, documentary, and artifactual material in terms of technical or genre-based aspects, types of discourses, and their aims ad functions.
- Effectively and with academic integrity utilise communication skills appropriate to academic written and oral presentations.
- A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:and
NCCW (pre-2020 units) AHIS355 Pre-requisite: AHIX2225 and AHIX2250
- Other requirements - Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.
This unit surveys the history of magic from the ancient world to the present day, covering cultures from the Ancient Near East, Egypt and the Graeco-Roman world, Late Antiquity, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, down to the early modern world, as well as aspects of cognitive psychology such as perceptual illusions and delusional beliefs. It provides thorough coverage of the way magic has been defined, understood, and used in these civilisations, and the way it has been conceived and studied in the history of modern scholarship over the past two centuries. Students will focus closely on the material sources for ancient magic, especially handbooks of spells and amulets on papyrus. There will also be close consideration of the construction of magic as an antithesis to religion in the ancient and modern worlds, and a focus on the role, use, and understanding of magic in wider historical, literary, and scientific contexts.
- Essay Introduction (10%)
- Magical Spell (15%)
- Academic Integrity Quiz (0%)
- Take home examination (35%)
- Major Essay (40%)
Current study term: 23 Jul 23 to 05 Nov 23
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