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Sales restricted to North America paperback only due to co-publication agreement with Koninklijke Brill NV. Brill retains the cloth rights in all remaining countries.English language rights only.
This book explores a series of powerful artifacts associated with King Solomon via legendary or extracanonical textual sources. Tracing their cultural resonance throughout history, art historian Allegra Iafrate delivers exciting insights into these objects and interrogates the ways in which magic manifests itself at a material level. Each chapter focuses on a different Solomonic object: a ring used to control demons; a mysterious set of bottles that constrain evil forces; an endless knot or seal with similar properties; the shamir, known for its supernatural ability to cut through stone; and a flying carpet that can bring the sitter anywhere he desires. Taken together, these chapters constitute a study on the reception of the figure of Solomon, but they are also cultural biographies of these magical objects and their inherent aesthetic, morphological, and technical qualities. Thought-provoking and engaging, Iafrate's study shows how ancient magic artifacts live on in our imagination, in items such as Sauron's ring of power, Aladdin's lamp, and the magic carpet. It will appeal to historians of art, religion, folklore, and literature.
In 1634 Urbain Grandier, a handsome and successful seducer of women and priest of the parish of Loudun, was tried, tortured and burnt at the stake. He had been found guilty of being in league with the devil and seducing an entire convent of nuns in what was the most sensational case of mass possession and sexual hysteria in history. Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage. Huxley's vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.
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