Bravado, Martial Magic, and Masculine Performance in Early Modern Germany
Contribution to Book
Rethinking Europe: War and Peace in the Early Modern German Lands
Gerhild Williams, Sigrun Haude, Christian Schneider
Leiden, The Netherlands
Chloe, Beihefte zum Daphnis, volume 480168-9878
This essay examines spells and magical practices aimed at improving martial performance among early modern German men, many of which incorporated human relics from the gallows or consecrated communion wafers. Especially for men of marginal or subordinate social status, the very fact that such spells were considered blasphemous could increase their masculine prestige, representing a martial challenge that feared neither God nor Satan. As magical belief declined after the Enlightenment, tales of magical weapons retained their masculine association as they moved into the world of fantasy and fiction.
Tlusty, B. Ann, "Bravado, Martial Magic, and Masculine Performance in Early Modern Germany" (2019). Faculty Contributions to Books. 195.