Topics course: The course uses magic as a case study for exploring cultural transmission in the Middle Ages. We begin by examining Germanic and Greco-Roman occult traditions, and the way in which the medieval synthesis of these cultures effects understandings of the occult. The course follows the influence of the Arabic and Hebrew influences on western occultism of the High Middle Ages, and flowering of the Renaissance magical tradition. The course challenges and reshapes some of our basic understandings about Medieval society. It problematizes modern division between science, magic and religion to illustrate how occult beliefs were part of wider religious experiences.