Session Title

Revealing the Unknown II: Sortilège, Bibliomancy, and Divination

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Research Group on Manuscript Evidence; Societas Magica

Organizer Name

Phillip A. Bernhardt-House

Organizer Affiliation

Skagit Valley College-Whidbey Island/Columbia College-Whidbey Island

Presider Name

Phillip A. Bernhardt-House

Paper Title 1

Divination, the Carving of Runes, and Their Relationship to Poetry in Icelandic Literature

Presenter 1 Name

Laurence Erussard

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Paper Title 2

Divining the Future in Sixteenth-Century Brazil: Texts and Pretexts

Presenter 2 Name

Carole A. Myscofski

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Illinois Wesleyan Univ.

Paper Title 3

Unlocking the Future: Remarks on the Materiality of Tools of Sortilège (A Response)

Presenter 3 Name

Michael A. Conrad

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. Zürich

Start Date

9-5-2020 1:30 PM

Session Location

Fetzer 2030

Description

From earliest times, humans have sought methods to contact supernatural entities to obtain knowledge of the present or future, known as divination. In ancient and medieval contexts, two such methods that were sometimes connected were sortilège and bibliomancy: for example, the Lots of Mary, Sortes Astramphysychi, Homeric Oracles, and Virgilian Oracles.

These practices involved numerological processes to select specific passages from canonical texts in order to divine on desired topics. This session will focus on these and other methods of divination, so as to understand how textual and other authorities became invested with powers far greater than the impacts of their literary merits. Mildred Budny

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May 9th, 1:30 PM

Revealing the Unknown II: Sortilège, Bibliomancy, and Divination

Fetzer 2030

From earliest times, humans have sought methods to contact supernatural entities to obtain knowledge of the present or future, known as divination. In ancient and medieval contexts, two such methods that were sometimes connected were sortilège and bibliomancy: for example, the Lots of Mary, Sortes Astramphysychi, Homeric Oracles, and Virgilian Oracles.

These practices involved numerological processes to select specific passages from canonical texts in order to divine on desired topics. This session will focus on these and other methods of divination, so as to understand how textual and other authorities became invested with powers far greater than the impacts of their literary merits. Mildred Budny