Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Larry J. Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Graham

Third Advisor

Dr. James Palmitessa

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


Islamic scholarship drew interest from European Christian scientists and intellectuals of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and translations of Arabic texts in standard scientific areas circulated alongside texts on topics such as alchemy, astrology, and magic. These translations grew in number beginning in the twelfth century and continued into the thirteenth century where in Spain King Alfonso X ordered many translations of Arabic works, including that of a guidebook of astral-magic, Ghayat al-hakim, called Picatrix.

The Picatrix text contains directions for a variety of different types of magic. This magic could be considered licit or illicit, both can be found in the contents of the Picatrix. This survey considers both types of magic and the varieties of magic found in the text in the context of the end result: magical control over interpersonal human relations.

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