'Pagan,' a Blurred Concept: ‘Pagan’ Practices in Burchard of Worms' Corrector sive Medicus


  • Larissa de Freitas Lyth Peterhouse, University of Cambridge



Parole chiave:

Paganesimo, ars magica, penitenza, Medioevo


This piece explores the concept of “pagan” and the idea of “pagan survivals” in Burchard of Worms’ Corrector sive medicus. The Corrector sive medicus, also known as Corrector Burchardi or Da poenitentia was written between the year 1000 and 1025 by Burchard, bishop of Worms, born around the year 965. The Corrector is a penitential manual, the 19th chapter of the Decretum, which recommended penance for those who performed unchristian acts such as murder, adultery, magical practices and others. This article discusses the blurry concept of "pagan" as an initial attempt to shed a light on Burchard's understanding of magic. This article discussed the methodological problems of the idea of “pagan survivals” and “popular beliefs” and argues that trying to find the archaic origins of certain beliefs is not particularly useful to uncover the way medieval writers thought about and saw them.

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Come citare

de Freitas Lyth, L. (2024). ’Pagan,’ a Blurred Concept: ‘Pagan’ Practices in Burchard of Worms’ Corrector sive Medicus . I Quaderni Del m.æ.S. - Journal of Mediæ Ætatis Sodalicium, 22(1s), 43–66. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2533-2325/19031

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