Superstition, as defined by the Oxford dictionary is, “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for the supernatural.” In no other time was the supernatural ever so excessively believed than in the Middle Ages, where witches flew on broomsticks, Jewish sorcerers conjured spells, and sneezes could kill you. In ancient times, mysterious circumstances were explained by the imaginations of our ancestors. Without science, occurrences which seem obvious now were once described as supernatural. For example, a person’s shadow cast on a sunny day was defined as a reflection of that person’s soul. Natural phenonemons were more or less personified. To get to the roots of supernatural beliefs, it is necessary to look at the roots of philosophy. Bernard McGinn, author of The Growth of Mysticism, said that in the ancient Mediterranean world philosophy was defined as, “the love of wisdom, to express the highest mode of human life, one dedicated to more than the ordinary tasks of survival and self-aggrandizement” (32). The Middle Ages began around the fifth century, when the Roman Empire disintegrated and Christendom began to take shape. The people th...
... middle of paper ...
Simeoni, Manuela. "European Pagan Memory Day." The Canon Episcopi and the Beginning of the Matter about Witches. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Trachtenberg, Joshua. "Jewish Magic and Superstition: 1. The Legend of Jewish Sorcery." Jewish Magic and Superstition: 1. The Legend of Jewish Sorcery. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Trachtenberg, Joshua. "Jewish Magic and Superstition: 2. The Truth Behind The Legend." Jewish Magic and Superstition: 2. The Truth Behind The Legend. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Trueman, Chris. "The Black Death of 1348 to 1350." The Black Death of 1348 to 1350. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Williamson, Allen. "Joan of Arc, Brief Biography." Joan of Arc, Brief Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Wolchover, Natalie. "The Surprising Origins of 9 Common Superstitions." LiveScience.com. TechMedia Network, 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Superstition is a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck: a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck” (Merriam-Webster). “Superstition is an irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome” (The Free Dictionary). “Superstition is the belief in supernatural causality—that one event causes another without any natural process linking the two events—such as astrology and certain aspects linked to religion, like omens, witchcraft and prophecies, that contradict natural science” (Wikipedia).... [tags: Superstition, Luck, Omen, Religious belief]
2002 words (5.7 pages)
- In order to understand witches, we must first understand how the Church distorted the very basis of what a witch is. I find myself constantly drawn back to how society viewed witches in the Middle Ages as compared to the present day opinion. The subject of Witchcraft and Magic was influenced deeply in the Middle Ages which in turn, lead to an influence which pervades our society today in the form of Wicca, otherwise known as the present day version of witchcraft. It is an unfortunate consequence of our civilizations history that Witchcraft and Magic in the Middle Ages is rarely given rational consideration by the aristocracy, many of whom fail to comprehend the full scope of Witchcraft and M... [tags: Religion ]
1332 words (3.8 pages)
- Food and water is essential for preserving life. It is not only important for sustaining life, but food also plays an important role in society functions. From Christmas, Easter, and thanksgiving food is an important part of celebrations. Food and celebration has always brought generations of people together to enjoy each other’s company. In our modern society, in particular the United States, we have an abundance of food at our disposal. However, in society today as well as in previous centuries there is a huge gap between wealth and poverty.... [tags: The Middle Ages]
1465 words (4.2 pages)
- When the current state of society is observed, it can be perceived that there are hidden influences from past cultures that have constructed how many people live their lives. Past cultures have left many inventions and ideas that have either been reimaged or have evolved into items and concepts that are still used today. The era that had a large portion of inventions and ideas that are still used or have influence the culture of today would be the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages have always been perceived as being the dark period, some people may even classified this period as being the Dark ages, in between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance.... [tags: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Dark Ages]
1188 words (3.4 pages)
- When the contemporary society is observed, it can be perceived that there are hidden influences from past cultures that constructed how many people live their lives. Past cultures have left many innovations and notions that have either been reimagined or have advanced into items and concepts that are still used today. The era that contained a generous portion of inventions and ideas that are still used or have influence the culture of today would be the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages have always been perceived as being the dark period, some people may even classify this period as being the Dark ages, in between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance.... [tags: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Dark Ages]
1183 words (3.4 pages)
- Science in the Middle Ages 400-1400 The Middle Age was a time where scientific knowledge became lost or forgotten due to the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. This led Europe into a Dark Age where technology led science, an age of faith had arisen, and scientific incentives were few. However, due to Muslim preservation of ancient writings, scientific advances and instruction did occur although few. Muslims maintained the ancient science of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Galen, Etc. by translating them to Arabic and creating libraries throughout the Middle East.... [tags: Middle Ages, Dark Ages, Renaissance]
1302 words (3.7 pages)
- The people of the middle ages showed their faith in many ways some were through prayer or fasting and others took a more violent approach. The Crusades were a way for men to resolve themselves of their sins according to Pope Urban II. This was also a way for the Crusaders to take back what they believed was stolen from their ancestors and their god. This was not only from the men who went to fight, there were also the elderly, women, and children who felt they needed to go help their faith. This would also make the Muslims who had control over Jerusalem because they believed it was their holy land as well.... [tags: Crusades, First Crusade, Middle Ages]
823 words (2.4 pages)
- Beginning in the Middle Ages and through the seventeenth centuries, an infiltration of witchcraft persevered throughout Europe. The witch craze resulted in the torture and persecution of witches. More than 100,000 of witches who were tried were centered in the area of southwestern Europe. The mass hysteria of witches was denounced because of their rejection of God and their pact with the devil, which resulted in harsh punishments and accusations. One reason for the persecution of witches was they were thought to be the cause of bad harvests, epidemics, natural disasters, and personal tragedies.... [tags: European History, Middle Ages, Witches]
1046 words (3 pages)
- The Middle Ages Throughout time, history has taken some strange turns. A single ruler establishing some new form of government can transform entire civilizations, or a single event can lead to the creation of a great new people. Whatever the case, history can repeat itself in time. One possible exemption of this could be Britain’s time period of the Middle Ages. Bearing a distinct and unique culture relative to the time period, some of the values and the customs held during this time have yet to be repeated in history.... [tags: History Historical Middle Ages Essays]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- Middle Ages The history of the modern world derives from thousands of years of human history. Embedded in its history are the many eras of man which have constructed our modern learning, art, beliefs, and order. The middle ages, although represented as “dark”, backwards, and idle, were in fact a bridge linking the classical and modern world. Medieval society may not have been in a sense glorious, but the era of itself was a prime foundation of the modern world’s newfound stability, a revival of the law and teachings from the classical era, a reinvestment and reform in the church, and a precursor to the golden age of art.... [tags: History Historical Essays Middle Ages]
720 words (2.1 pages)