Title

Bravado, Marital Magic, and Masculine Performance in Early Modern Germany

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Source Publication

Rethinking Europe: War and Peace in the Early Modern German Lands

Publication Date

Fall 11-2019

Editor

Gerhild Williams, Sigrun Haude, Christian Schneider

Publisher

Brill

City

Leiden, The Netherlands

Series

Chloe, Beihefte zum Daphnis, volume 480168-9878

ISBN

9789004401914

First Page

9

Last Page

38

Department

History

Description

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.

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