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Magic and Impotence in the Middle Ages$

Catherine Rider

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282227

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282227.001.0001

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(p.215) Appendix 1 ‘On those who, impeded by magic, cannot have intercourse’: Pantegni, ‘Practica’ Book 8, Chapter 29, and the Remedies Against Magic

(p.215) Appendix 1 ‘On those who, impeded by magic, cannot have intercourse’: Pantegni, ‘Practica’ Book 8, Chapter 29, and the Remedies Against Magic

Magic and Impotence in the Middle Ages
Oxford University Press

Manuscripts of the Pantegni

Charles Burnett and Danielle Jacquart list 17 manuscripts of the Pantegni containing this chapter in Constantine the African and Alī ibn al-Abbās al-Mağūsī: the Pantegni and Related Texts (Leiden, New York, and Cologne: Brill, 1994), 316–51.

Manuscripts consulted:


London, British Library MS Sloane 2946, f. 67v


London, British Library MS Sloane 3481, f. 157v


London, Royal College of Physicians MS 397, ff. 77r–v


Montpellier, Université, Faculté de Médecine MS 187, ff. 112v–113r


Oxford, Oriel College MS 55, f. 166v


Paris, BN MS lat. 6887A, ff. 94r–v


Paris, BN MS lat. 6886, ff. 178r–v


Paris, BN MS lat. 14393, f. 113v

Manuscripts and editions of the Remedies Against Magic

There is no comprehensive list of known manuscripts of the Remedies. Lynn Thorndike and Pearl Kibre listed five manuscripts in A Catalogue of Incipits of Medieval Scientific Writings in Latin, 2nd edn. (London: Medieval Academy of America, 1963), column 1542, but several others have been found since.

Manuscripts and editions consulted:


Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale MS II.iii.214, ff. 8r–v, described in David Pingree, ‘Learned Magic in the Time of Frederick II’ Micrologus 2 (1994), 39–56.


Montpellier, Université, Faculté de Médecine MS 277, ff. 60r–v: text published by Henry Sigerist, ‘Impotence as a Result of Witchcraft’, in Essays in Biology in Honour of Herbert M. Evans (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1943), 539–46. I have also consulted a microfilm of the manuscript.


Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibl. MS 321, ff. 256r–v. See C. Halm and G. Laubmann, Catalogus Codicum Latinorum Bibliothecae Regiae Monacensis, 2nd edn. (Munich: Bibliotheca Regia, 1892), i.81–2.


London, British Library MS Sloane 3529, ff. 12r–v


Vatican, Bibl. Ap. Vat. MS vat. lat. 2403, 85r


Printed in the Opera Omnia of Arnold of Villanova (Lyon, 1509), f. 215v; reprinted in 1520, 1532


Printed in the Opera Omnia of Arnold of Villanova (Basel, 1585), columns 1529–32


Bruges, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 370, text published by A. de Poorter, Catalogue des Manuscrits de Médecine Médiévale de la Bibliothèque de Bruges (Paris: Champion, 1924), 20–2; I have collated from de Poorter's transcription.

(p.216) Other manuscripts of the Remedies not consulted:

Erfurt, Codex Amplonianus 4o 217, 97v, mentioned in Hoffmann, ‘Beiträge’, 132, n. 4. The Remedies is not mentioned specifically in the entry for this manuscript in Wilhelm Schum, Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der Amplonianischen Handschriften-Sammlung zu Erfurt (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1887), 474, as this section of the manuscript is summarized as containing various recipes.

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana MS Ashburnham 143, mentioned by Lynn Thorndike, in A History of Magic and Experimental Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1923), ii.498, n. 1. See also Indici e Cataloghi 8: I Codici Ashburnhamiani della Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana di Firenze (Rome, 1887), i.231–5.

Vienna, österreichisches Nationalbibliothek MS 5315, ff. 76v–78r. See Tabulae Codicum Manuscriptorum in Bibliotheca Palatina Vindobonensi Asservatorum, ed. Academia Caesarea Vindobonensi (Vienna, 1870), iv.100–1.

I have followed (more or less) the editorial principles suggested in David d'Avray, Medieval Marriage Sermons, 31–47. In each section a base manuscript has been transcribed in full, either in the text or in the apparatus. Where there seems to be an error in the base manuscript, superior readings from other manuscripts have been put into the text. In order to keep the apparatus to a manageable size, variants from the base manuscript in the other manuscripts have not normally (p.217) been recorded if they are clearly scribal errors (for example, ‘glandis’ for ‘glandes’). Nor have I recorded minor variants which do not change the meaning of the text (such as ‘quod’ for ‘quia’, ‘alia’ for ‘altera’) or minor variations in word order (such as ‘divinis auxiliis’ for ‘auxiliis divinis’), except when they occur in the base manuscript. Variant readings that change the meaning of the text, and which do not appear to be scribal errors, have their sigla in bold type. If more than one manuscript contains the variant, I have signified this with a plus sign, for example Mp+.

The bold Arabic numbers in the apparatus correspond to the numbers at the beginning of each sentence in the text. Where a manuscript contains a variant reading for an entire sentence of the text, I have signalled this by saying ‘all]’ and then giving the variant sentence in full at the end of the apparatus for that sentence.

Seven of the eight manuscripts of the Pantegni that I consulted fall into two groups, each of which share readings which are not normally shared by manuscripts in the other group. It is difficult to determine which group is closest to the author's original text, as both contain readings that improve the clarity of the text but are not shared by the other group. In taking Se as my base manuscript, I have usually followed the readings of Group Two, unless a notably better reading is given by the manuscripts of Group One.

Group One: Sl, Rc, and Ps

Group Two: Se, Ox, Mf, and Pa

A few variant readings are shared by both groups, notably ‘volumus’ for ‘nolumus’ in the first section of the text, but these often seem to be errors arrived at independently, rather than deliberate variants. However, one manuscript, Pr, shares variant readings with both groups. Instead, its closest parallels are with the later Remedies manuscripts Fl and Va. It may correspond with other Pantegni manuscripts that I have not consulted, or it may be that at some point a scribe consulted more than one manuscript of the text.

If manuscripts of both groups agree on a reading which is not found in the base manuscript, I have cited one manuscript from each group, in the order of priority listed above. For example, if Sl supports the variant reading, I have given this as the authority; if it does not, then I have given Rc; and if that does not, then Ps and so on. The fact that I have cited Sl does not mean that other manuscripts further down the priority list do not also contain the variant reading; as mentioned above, the presence of a particular variant in other manuscripts is indicated by the plus sign, as in Sl+.

The manuscripts and printed editions of the Remedies show a higher level of both scribal errors and variant readings that change the meaning of the text. One manuscript, Mu, is particularly idiosyncratic, omitting several sentences and including many variants that are not shared with any other manuscript. Where its reading differs substantially from that found in all the other manuscripts, I have transcribed it separately at the end of the apparatus.

(p.218) Text

Part 1

Base Manuscript: Se (London, British Library MS Sloane 3481, 157v)

1. Sunt quidam qui maleficiis impediti cum uxoribus suis coire non possunt. De quorum suffragio librum nostrum nolumus denudare, quod medicamentum (ni fallor) est sanctissimum. 2. Igitur si cui hoc contigerit, speret in deo, et ipse dabit benignitatem. 3. Sed quia maleficia sunt multimoda, oportet ut de eis disputemus.

4. Maleficiorum quedam de animatis fiunt, ut testiculi gallorum, qui suppositi lecto cum ipsius sanguine efficiunt ne coeant in lecto iacentes. 5. Quedam de caracteribus scriptis de sanguine vespertilionis. 6. Quedam vero de inanimatis sicut si nux vel glans separetur, quarum medietas ab una parte vie ponatur, et alia ab alia, unde sponsus et sponsa pergere debent. 7. Sunt et alia que de granis fabarum conficiuntur, que nec aqua calida mollificantur, nec igne coquuntur, quod maleficium est pessimum, 8. si iiii. illarum vel in tecto, vel in via, vel supra hostium, vel infra ponantur. 9. Sunt et alia que sunt metallica sicut que fiunt ex ferro vel plumbo: ex ferro sicut ex acu cum qua mortui vel mortue suuntur. (10. Ox and Mu only: Sufficit bene intelligentibus.)

11. Sed quia hec sunt diabolica et maxime sunt in mulieribus, aliquando divinis, aliquando humanis auxiliis curantur. 12. Item si sponsus et sponsa (p.219) maleficiis supradictis conturbentur, sanctius est de hiis disserere quam silere, 13. quia si non succurrantur, separantur et sic deiciuntur. 14. Et hoc maleficium exercentes non solum in proximis, sed etiam in creatore peccare videntur. 15. Si enim maleficium recte extirpare volumus, videndum est si supradictum maleficium supersit lecto et auferatur. 16. Sed si auctor illius maleficii in die auferat et in nocte ponat, vel econverso, aliam domum acquirant sponsus et sponsa ibique iaceant.

17. Si caracteribus hoc maleficium fiat quod cognoscitur, quia sponsus et sponsa non diligunt se adinvicem, 18. queratur si super limen hostii vel infra sint, et si quid inveniatur, deferatur ad sacerdotem, sed si non, faciat ea, que inferius ponuntur. 19. Si nux vel glans sit causa huius maleficii, accipiat quilibet nucem vel glandem, separetque eam, 20. cumque una medietate pergat vir ex una parte alicuius vie vel illius per quam venerunt, et ibi ponat medietatem suam. 21. Mulier vero ex alia parte aliam ponat partem nucis. 22. Deinde sponsus et sponsa accipiant ambas partes nucis, testa non extracta, et postea tota nux reintegretur, et sic servetur per vii. dies. Hoc facto coeant.

23. Si autem sit propter fabas, magis divinis quam humanis curari potest. 24. Si sit propter acus mortuorum, querantur maleficia in culcitra vel pulvinari. Si non inveniantur, in alia domo et lecto cubent. 25. Fel canis masculi nigri (p.220) domui aspersum domum purgat et efficit ne ullum maleficium domui inferatur. 26. Canino sanguine domus parietes asperge: ab omni maleficio liberabitur.

(Mu does not contain the rest of Part 1.)

27. Fel alicuius piscis et maxime zangarini si sponsus et sponsa secum habeant in pixide iuniperi 28. et eant dormitum et ponatur super carbones vivos ut inde fumigentur, omnia supradicta maleficia evanescunt. 29. Similiter si argentum vivum accipiatur et in calamo cum cera cooperto nesciente sponso et sponsa in loco ponatur nullum maleficium eis obest.

Part 2

Base Manuscript: Se (London, British Library MS Sloane 3481, 157v) Found in Se, Mf, Pa, Pr, Ox, Br, Fl, Mp, and So

1. Sed si peccatis imminentibus, predicta non profuerint, accedant ad sacerdotem vel episcopum et confiteantur. 2. Et si nullum remedium invenitur, facta confessione ab episcopo vel aliquo religioso sacerdote in die Resurrectionis vel Ascensionis Domini vel Pentecostes, communicent. 3. Corpore et sanguine Domini accepto, sponsus et sponsa dent inter se osculum pacis, 4. et accepta benedictione ab episcopo vel sacerdote, det sibi episcopus vel sacerdos hunc versum propheticum in carta scriptum: 5. Vox Domini super aquas etc. 6. Deinde veniant domum, a copulatione per iii dies et noctes abstineant, postea rem agant, id est coeant. 7. Et sic omnis diabolica actio destruetur. (8. Mp only: Expletus est libellus de maleficiis. Deo gratias Amen.)

(All remaining manuscripts of the Pantegni, and Br, Mp, and So end here.)

(p.221) Part 3a (Mu only):

1. Item nota quod squilla integra est radix quedam oblonga que infra limen ostii suspensa tollit omne maleficium domus in quacumque. 2. Quicunque radicem brionie secum portaverit vel in hospicio [MS: hospocio] habuerit, omnia maleficia ab eo et hospicio suo fugient. 3. Item si arthemisia super limen hostii fuerit suspensa, facit ut nullum maleficium noceat domui. 4. Item sciendum secundum experimentationes si masculus secum portaverit cor cornicis masculi et uxor cor femelle semper bene inter se convenient. 5. Sciendum quod si aliqui fuerint maleficiati non potentes coire in lecto et hospicio proprio, mutant autem lectum et hospicium et si ibi coire possunt signum est maleficii in lecto vel hospicio proprio existentis. 6. Sed si in aliquo coire non possunt quemadmodum nec in proprio, signum est quod illud maleficium est perpetratum per potentias spirituales et in illo casu valet tyriaca cum succo ypericon. 7. Et valet etiam ad illud herba ypericon apud mulierem vel virum in domo vel in pera. 8. Et ideo ista herba vocatur fuga demonum. Hec etiam herba alio nomine dicitur herba sancti Johannis et herba perforata. 9. Et est finis huius opusculi laus deo. Explicit opusculum de remediis sortilegiorum Constantini etc.

Part 3b (1509 and 1585 only):

1. Si fel caprinum in domo tua posueris, omnia demonia fugient. Gilbertus. 2. Item cor vulturis portatum fugat et omnia demonia a peccante et omnes feras et facit hominem gratiosum omnibus hominibus et mulieribus et abundantem et intentiosum. Gilbertus. 3. Item avis pica vel assata vel elixata comesta sanitatem reddit velociter infirmantibus et incantatione trufatos solvit et sanat et asperitatem tribuit. Gilbertus. 4. Ad tollendum maleficium: Recipe de tyriaca magna cum succo ypericon et emplastra renibus. Gilbertus. 5. Item in calamo vel avellana concava ponatur argentum vivum et supponatur cervicali maleficorum vel ponatur sub limine hostii, per quod intrat; solvitur maleficium. 6. Item corallus si teneatur in domo, solvit omnia maleficia. Dioscorides. 7. Item sanguis canis nigri linitis parietibus omnibus, domus, in qua est, tollit maleficium. Sextus ab octo. 8. Item si quis maleficiatus fuerit ad non amandum aliquem vel aliquam, merda illius, quem vel quam diligit, ponatur in sotulari dextro amantis et calciet, quam cito sentiet fetorem, solvetur maleficium. Expertum est. 9. Item arthemisia, id est matricaria super limine domus posita vel supposita, facit ut nullum maleficium noceat illi domui. 10. Item si luna nova decollaveris upupam et cor eius palpitans transglutias, scies omnia que fiunt, etiam mentes hominum, etiam (p.222) multa celestia. 11. Item ypericon, si teneatur in domo, demones fugantur. Ideo dicitur a multis fuga demonis. 12. Item lapis qui magnes dicitur, portatus, discordiam inter virum et mulierem vel uxorem sedat omnino.

13. Item fumigetur cum dente hominis mortui trito. 14. Item bibat herbam que transiverit per medium lapidis perforati. 15. Item squilla integra suspensa in limine domus tollit maleficium. 16. Item radix brionie, si tecum portaveris, omnia maleficia fugient. 17. Item si vir portaverit cor cornicis, et uxor femine, semper bene coeunt. 18. Item si quis portaverit radicem yringi numquam insidias alicuius demonis sustinebit. 19. Item si sub vestibus demoniaci ponatur dicta radix, demoniacus confitebitur, quis est, quod est, et unde est, et effugiet.

Part 4 (Fl only):

1. Item suspende ad collum viri et mulieris hec scripta in carta virginea: astea. astia. assa. assa. alnab. liberate. 2. Aliud: accipe ensem incidentem ex utroque latere, et scribe in puncto ex utroque latere hos karateres: ha. ha. at. 3. Postea vade sub lecto ipsis nescientibus et pone punctum ensis super fillaturam asidis prope caput lecti 4. ita ut sit quasi ex opposito dorsi. Et non facias punctum transire nisi assides cum literis. Et omnia maleficia destruantur. 5. Item facias hominem se expoliare ex recto et facias pannos directe ponere ita quod sarrabula sit inferius et epytogium superius. 6. Postea facias eum evaginare gladium et percutere pannos ter, ita quod cutellus transeat omnes. Et tertia vice dimittat cutellum infixum in asside et pannis. 7. Postea concubat cum sponsa.

Part 5 (1509 only):

1. Item si fiat maleficium contra sponsum et sponsam virgines, ut sponsus sponsam carnaliter cognoscere non possit, suscipe unam parapsidem vel unam taceam, 2. in cuius medio scribas crucem et hec quattuor nomina in quattuor crucis lateribus: 3. avis, gravis, seps, sipa, et in circuitu tacee interius scribas evangelium sancti Joannis totum completum, 4. post sumas aquam benedictam, si potes, vel vinum vel aliam aquam si non potes habere aquam benedictam, 5. et pone in tacea illa cum digito totam litteram illam in illa ablue et cum devotione ambo bibant et in dei nomine coeant. Probatum est.

6. Item facias scribendo in quattuor crucis lateribus hoc nomen tetragramaton servata forma supradicta, si scires tu scribere. 7. Dic quid significatur per hoc nomen tetragramaton, quod est scriptum. 8. Si habet litteras hebraicas, (p.223) efficacissimum est. Post facies predicta scilicet evangelium etiam et omnia dicta scribat unus infans virgo coronatus.

9. Item sume infantem virginem et in die veneris vel sabbati vel dominico in hora ante ortum solis stet ante rubum et salutet virginem Mariam, que per rubum fuit figurata. 10. Postea dicat ter paternoster et ter signet rubum in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti, amen. 11. Et tunc colliget de foliis eius et floribus, si sint, et fructibus vel de foliis tantum, si alia desint, tres pugnos et recede, 12. et cum fueris in domo, sponsus et sponsa claudant se in camera, in qua ponatur focarium plenum carbonibus incensis et unusquisque eorum ad partem oret deum, quod deus ministret fructum matrimonii usque ad sui servitium. 13. Quo facto sumant folia rubi et flores, si sint, et ponant supra carbones incensos et perfumabant totam cameram et serpens fugiet et signatis de signo crucis coeant in dei nomine.

14. Item aliter de eodem: ad frangendum omne maleficium confiteatur utrumque de peccatis suis fideliter et audiant ambo missam et communicent dividendo corpus Christi per medium facta monitione, ne ipsi coeant propter luxuriam, sed propter fructum matrimonii. 15. Credo etiam quod si maleficium esset solum in una persona et confiteretur fideliter et communicaret solverentur omnia maleficia.

16. Item, si maleficia fiant in campis vel vineis, fiat quod supra dixi de evangelio sancti Johannis scriptum per manum infantis virginis et illa aqua spergatur in quattuor angulis campi illius et in medio fiat una crux dicendo: 17. ‘Exorcizo te, immunde spiritus, ut hunc locum deo dedicatum egrediaris et ad locum tue sempiterne damnationis pergas.’ 18. Hoc dicto spergas aquam faciendo crucem in quattuor angulis in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti amen. 19. Expliciunt remedia contra maleficia.

(p.224) Translation

(This translation of Parts 1 and 2 is based partly on the translation of Mp by Henry Sigerist, in the article cited above.)

Part 1

1. There are some people who, impeded by spells, cannot have intercourse with their wives. We do not want to deprive our book of help for them, because the remedy (if I am not wrong) is most sacred. 2. Therefore if this happens to someone, he should put his hope in God, and he will show him kindness. 3. But because there are many kinds of magic, we ought to discuss them.

4. For some spells are made from animated substances, such as the testicles of a cock which, when put under a bed with the cock's blood, bring it about that those who lie in the bed will not have intercourse. 5. Some [spells] are made of characters written in bat's blood. 6. Some are made of inanimate substances, for instance if a nut or acorn is separated, and one half is put on one side of the road where the bride and groom must pass, and the other on the other side. 7. There are also others which are made from beans, which have not been softened in hot water, nor cooked on the fire; this spell is worst 8. if four of them are put on the roof, or in the road, or above or below the door. 9. There are also others which are made of metal, such as those that are made of iron or lead. The iron ones are, for instance, made from a needle with which dead men or women have been sewn.

11. But because these spells are diabolical, and are especially found among women, they can sometimes be cured by divine methods, sometimes by human ones. 12. If the bride and groom are thrown into confusion by the abovementioned spells, it is holier to discuss them than to keep silent, 13. because if they are not helped, they will be separated and thus cast down. 14. And those who do such magic seem to sin not only against their neighbours, but also against the Creator. 15. If we wish to eradicate the spell correctly, we should see whether the abovementioned spell is above the bed, and take it away. 16. But if the doer of this spell takes it away in the day and puts it back at night, or vice versa, the bride and groom should acquire another home and lie there.

17. If the spell is done by characters, which is known if the bride and groom do not love each other, 18. search for it above the threshold of the door, or below, and if you find something, take it to the priest, but if not, do what is set out below. 19. If a nut or acorn is the cause of this spell, someone should take a nut or acorn, and separate it. 20. With one half, the man should proceed on one side of some road, or of that road along which [the bride and groom] went, and put his half there; 21. but the woman should put the other part of the nut on (p.225) the other side of the road. 22. Then the bride and groom should take both parts of the nut, without taking the shell off, and thus put the whole nut back together and keep it for seven days. Having done this, they should have intercourse.

23. But if it happens because of beans, it can be cured with divine rather than human methods. 24. If it is because of the dead people's needles, the spells should be sought in the mattress or pillow. If they are not found, the couple should have intercourse in another home and bed. 25. The bile of a black dog, sprinkled around the house, purifies it and brings it about that no spell can be brought in. 26. Sprinkle the walls of the house with dog's blood; it will be freed from all spells. 27. If the bride and groom keep with them the bile of some fish, and especially zangarinus [I have been unable to translate this], in a box of juniper wood 28. and if, when they go to bed, they put it on hot coals so that they are fumigated by it, all of the abovementioned spells will vanish. 29. Similarly, if mercury is taken and put into a reed sealed with wax without the bride and groom's knowledge, no spell will harm them in the place where it is put.

Part 2

1. But if the above methods do not work because the couple's sins are hanging over them, they should go to a priest or bishop and confess. 2. And if no remedy is found, after they have confessed, they should take communion from the bishop or a devout priest on the day of the Resurrection or the Ascension of the Lord, or Pentecost. 3. When they have taken the body and blood of Christ, the bride and groom should give each other the kiss of peace. 4. When they have received the blessing from the bishop or priest, the bishop or priest should give them this verse of the prophet, written on a slip of parchment: 5. ‘The voice of the Lord is upon the waters’ etc (Psalm 29: 3). 6. Then they should go home and abstain from intercourse for three days and nights, and afterwards do the deed, that is, have intercourse. 7. And thus all diabolical actions are destroyed.

Part 3a

1. Note that a whole squill is a certain oblong root that, when it is suspended inside the doorway, takes away all magic from any house. 2. Anyone who carries with him a briony root or has one in his home will expel every magic from himself and his home. 3. If mugwort is suspended above the doorway, it brings it about that no magic can harm the house. 4. It should be known that according to experience, if a man carries with him the heart of a male crow, and his wife the heart of a female [crow] they will always come together well. 5. It should be (p.226) known that if some people are bewitched and unable to have intercourse in their own bed and home, they should change their bed and home and if they are able to have intercourse, it is a sign that there is magic in their own bed or home. 6. But if they cannot have intercourse in another [bed and home] just as in their own, it is a sign that the magic is accomplished through spiritual powers, and in that case theriac with the sap of hypericon works. 7. And the herb hypericon also works [if kept] in the home with the woman or man, or in a bag. 8. And therefore this herb is called demons' bane. This herb is also called by another name St John's wort, and the ‘perforated herb’. 9. And this is the end of this little work, praise be to God. Here ends Constantine's little work on remedies against spells etc.

Part 3b

1. If you put a goat's bile in your home, all demonic influences will flee. Gilbertus. 2. Wearing a vulture's heart both makes all demonic influences flee from the sinner, and all wild beasts, and it makes a man pleasing to all men and women, and rich and potent. Gilbertus. 3. The jay bird, either roasted or boiled, if eaten, quickly brings health back to the sick and frees those who are deceived by incantations, and heals, and gives fierceness. Gilbertus. 4. To take away magic: take theriac with the sap of St John's wort, and put them in a plaster on the kidneys. Gilbertus. 5. Put mercury in a reed or a hollow hazelnut, and put it in the pillow of the magician, or put it under the threshold of the door, through which he enters; the spell will be dissolved. 6. Coral dissolves all spells, if it is kept in the home. Dioscorides. 7. The blood of a black dog, smeared on all the walls, takes the spell away from the home where it is done. Sextus to Octavian [Sextus Placitus' Medicina de Quadrupedibus]. 8. If someone is bewitched so that they do not love some man or woman, the faeces of the person they love should be put in the lover's right shoe when they put it on. As soon as he smells the odour, the magic will be dissolved. It has been tried. 9. Mugwort, that is matricaria, put on or buried under the threshold of the house, brings it about that no spell will harm that home. 10. If you behead a hoopoe at full moon and swallow its still-beating heart, you will know everything that is happening, both the minds of men, and many heavenly things. 11. St John's wort, if it is kept in the home, drives away demons. Therefore many people call it demons' bane. 12. If the stone which is called magnet is worn, it lays to rest every discord between a man and his woman or wife. 13. Let him be fumigated three times with the tooth of a dead man. 14. Let him drink the herb which grows through the middle of a stone with a hole in it. 15. A whole squill, suspended in the doorway, takes away magic. 16. If you carry briony root with you, all spells will be driven away. 17. If a man carries the heart of a crow, and the wife the heart of a female [crow], (p.227) they will always have intercourse happily. 18. If someone carries the root of yringus [I have not been able to identify this], they will never suffer the attacks of a demon. 19. If the same root is put under the clothes of a demoniac, the demoniac [i. e. the demon inside them] will confess who he is, and what he is, and where he is from, and flee.

Part 4

1. Suspend round the necks of the man and the woman, these words written on virgin parchment: astea. astia. assa. assa. alnab. liberate. 2. Another: take a sword with a cutting edge on both sides and write on the point, on both sides, these characters: ha. ha. at. 3. Afterwards, go under the bed without the couple's knowledge and put the point of the sword on the fringe of the bedspread near the head of the bed, 4. so that it is resting on the back. And do not let the point cross anything except the bedspread with the letters. And all spells will be destroyed. 5. Make the man undress on the right hand side, and put his clothes [on the bed] in order, so that the trousers are underneath and the coat on top. 6. Afterwards make him unsheathe the sword and hit the clothes three times, so that the blade goes through all of them. And on the third time let him leave the blade fixed in the bedspread and the clothes. 7. Afterwards, let him have intercourse with his bride.

Part 5

1. If magic has been done against a virgin bride and groom, so that the groom cannot have sexual intercourse with the bride, take a dish or a cup. 2. In the middle of it write a cross and these four names on the four sides of the cross: 3. avis, gravis, seps, sipa, and on the inside rim of the cup write the entire gospel of St John. 4. Afterwards take holy water, if you can, or wine or other water if you cannot get holy water, 5. and put it in the cup, and with your finger wash all the letters in it, and both [the bride and groom] should drink it devotedly, and in God's name they should have intercourse. It has been proved.

6. Write in the four sides of the cross this name, the tetragrammaton, following the abovementioned shape, if you know how to write it. 7. Say what is meant by that name, the tetragrammaton, which is written. 8. If it is in Hebrew letters, it is most effective. Afterwards do the above, with the gospel, and also let a garlanded virgin child write all the abovementioned things.

9. Take a virgin child, and on a Friday or Saturday or Sunday, in the hour before sunrise, have him stand in front of a bramble bush and hail the Virgin Mary, who is symbolized by the bramble. 10. Afterwards, let him say three Paternosters, and sign the bramble three times in the name of the Father and the (p.228) Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 11. And then have him collect three handfuls of its leaves and flowers, if it has them, and the fruits; or just the leaves, if the others are not there, and leave, 12. and when you are at home, the bride and groom should shut themselves in their chamber, in which is placed a brazier full of burning coals and each of them for their part should pray to God, that God should provide the fruit of marriage to his servants. 13. Having done that, they should take the leaves of the bramble and the flowers, if they have them, and put them on the burning coals and perfume the whole chamber and the serpent will flee and, having signed themselves with the sign of the cross, let them have intercourse in God's name.

14. Another recipe for the same: to break all magic, each should confess their sins faithfully, and both should hear mass and take communion, dividing the body of Christ in the middle, having been warned not to have intercourse because of lust, but because of the fruits of marriage. 15. I also believe that if the spell is only on one person, and he/she confesses faithfully and takes communion, all the spells will be dissolved.

16. If there is a spell on the fields or vines, do what I have said above about the gospel of St John written by the hand of a virgin child, and let that water be sprinkled in the four corners of the field, and in the middle make a cross, saying: 17. ‘I exorcise you, unclean spirit, so that you leave this place that is dedicated to God, and proceed to the place of your eternal damnation.’ 18. Having said this, sprinkle the water in the shape of the cross in the four corners of the field, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 19. Here end the remedies against magic.


(1.) maleficiis] maleficiis diabolicis Mp denudare] enudare Sl+: enodare Pr+ quod … est] quo ad medicamentum quo usi sumus Mu medicamentum] medicamenta Rc est] Sl+: om. Se+

(1.) imminentibus] existentibus Mf: eminentibus Pa non] minime Mp et confiteantur] om. Pr

(1.) fel] om. 1509

(2.) si cui … speret] si tibi hoc contigerit, speres So, 1509, 1585: si cui] cum Sl hoc] Sl, Mf+: om. Se deo] domino Pr+ benignitatem] bonitatem Pr (all)] om. Mu

(2.) et si…invenitur] et si episcopus hoc non conceserit, nullum remedium invenitur Pr: et si episcopus hoc concesserit et nullum remedium invenitur Mp et si] et sic adhuc Mf resurrectionis] sancte resurrectionis Mp

(2.) puncto] puncta Fl

(2.) crucis] certis 1509

(3.) maleficia sunt multimoda] est maleficiorum multitudo So

(3.) incantatione] in incantatione 1585

(3.) punctum] punctam Fl

(4.) animatis] animalibus Ps testiculi] de testiculis Rc+ corrected in MS from ‘testiculorum’ Se gallorum] galli Sl+ suppositi] Rc, Mf superpositi Se, Sl lecto] recto Rc: tecto Ps coeant] concumbant Sl+ in lecto] Sl+: loco Se+ (all)] Maleficiorum quedam de animatis fiunt, quedam de inanimatis. De animatis ut testiculi galli lecto supra positi Mu

(4.) sacerdote] aliquo religioso sacerdote Mf det sibi] dicat ipse Pa sibi] eis Fl vel sacerdos] Pr: om. Se

(4.) renibus] renes 1585

(4.) punctum] punctam Fl

(5.) vespertilionis] vespertilionum So

(5.) maleficorum] maleficiorum 1509, 1585

(5.) coeant] Hoffmann's emendation: capiant 1509

(6.) inanimatis] terrae nascentibus 1509, 1585 nux] nucibus Ps separetur] Pa, Ox: separantur Se quarum] Sl+: quorum Se+ vie … ab alia] om. Mu ab alia] ex altera parte Sl

(6.) per iii …abstineant] per tres dies abstineant et tot noctes So et noctes] et tres noctes Pr abstineant] se custodiant Mp id est coeant] om. Pr

(6.) crucis] Hoffmann's emendation: certis 1509

(7.) conficiuntur] confecta Mu coquuntur] conburentur Mu

(7.) actio] virtus Pr

(8.) in tecto] Sl, Mf+: in lecto Se+ in toto So: tres sub lecto 1509, 1585 infra] circa 1509, 1585

(8.) calciet] calciet se 1585

(8.) coronatus] coronat 1509

(9.) vel plumbo] vel plumbo et ferro 1509: om. Mu sicut ex acu] sicut que fiunt ex acu Sl+ mortui vel mortue] Sl, Ox+: mortui et mortue Se suuntur] sumuntur Pr: suuntur in sudariis 1509, 1585

(10.) scies] sciens 1509

(11.) et maxime sunt in mulieribus] om. Mu sunt in mulieribus] Sl+: sunt mulieribus Se+: fiunt a mulieribus Pa: mulieribus sunt assueta Mf: a mulieribus sunt Fl: in mulieribus fiunt 1509, 1585 aliquando divinis … auxiliis] aliquando a uiris divinis quandoque Pr, Fl

(12.) Item] Item sciendum est quod Mu et] vel Pr supradictis … conturbentur] curantur Fl: huiusmodi contrahuntur maleficiis 1509, 1585 disserere] dicere Rc+: speculari 1509, 1585 silere] tacere Ps: celare Mu

(13.) succurantur] succuratur Sl+ deiciuntur] deviant Sl: degenerantur Mp: est malum So

(14.) Et hoc …videntur] Et per hoc maleficium non solum exercetur in paroxismis, sed etiam in curatione 1509, 1585 maleficium] malum Mp exercentes] facientes Sl in creatore] in spiritu sancto Mp: in creatione So

(15.) recte] tecti Sl+: lecti 1509, 1585 extirpare] curare vel extirpare Br supersit lecto] supersit Sl+: lecto superponatur vel subsit vel supersit lecto Mf: subsit lecto Mp: lecto non supersit Mu

(16.) auctor] Sl+: actor Se+ illius] istius Sl+ et in nocte] vel in nocte Sl

(18.) queratur] quere Pr si] om. Sl sint] om. Sl+ sacerdotem] sacerdotem vel episcopum Pr faciat] faciunt Sl: faciant Rc ea] Sl+: om. Se+

(19.) accipiat] accipe So accipiat …eam] accipiat venenum quilibet vel glandem eam, quae separat 1509, 1585 quilibet] mulier quelibet Sl+: mulier quamlibet Ps: quelibet maleficium secundum Mu

(20.) pergat] spargat So vel …suam] et ibi ponat Sl+ all] Et cum illa parte immediate pergat vir ex una parte et ibi ponat 1509, 1585

(21.) parte] parte vie Sl+

(22.) Deinde …nucis] Sl, Ox+: om. Se non extracta] non vero extracta intus redeant Pr, Fl: non extracta redeant Ps: vero detracta Br: deposita Mu: vero extracta 1509, 1585 tota] cocta Ox et sic servetur] et sic sunt necesse So: et firmetur 1509, 1585 per vii] per vi 1509, 1585 coeant] comedant 1509, 1585

(23.) sit] Sl+: fit Mf: fiat Pr: om. Se magis] tunc tam Mu humanis] humanis auxiliis Mu: humanis medicinis So curari potest] potest adiutoriis Mf potest] Sl+: possunt Se, Ox: debet vel potest Pr

(24.) sit propter] super 1509, 1585 in culcitra] vel in fulon Mp inveniantur] Sl+: inveniuntur Se, Ox lecto] culcitru vel lecto Br

(25.) maleficium] malum medicamentum Mp domum purgat…inferatur] demonem pugnat, ne maleficium damnum inferat 1509, 1585

(26.) domus] Rc, Ox+: demus Sl, Se maleficio] malo Ps maleficio liberabitur] purgat maleficio 1509, 1585 liberabitur] Sl+: liberatur Se

(27.) zangarini] zangari ursi Sl: angarici Mf: zacarini Pa: zingarini Br: zancharini id est lucii parni Fl: zangarini (glossed: id est lucii) Mp: sagarici So: lausularum 1509, 1585 habeant] Sl+: habuerint Se, Ox

(28.) carbones vivos] carbonem vivum Sl+

(29.) argentum vivum] argentum alias argentum vivum 1509 accipiatur] accipiant Ps calamo] calamo canne Sl+: calamo canne mittatur Rc: calamo canne mutatur So cum cera] calamo cum cera Sl+: in calamo cum plumbo et cera Pr sponso et sponsa] sponso vel sponsa Mf loco] in lecto Mf: in aliquo loco Pa in loco ponatur] om. Sl+ obest] nocebit Mp