Anglo-Saxon Magic and Medicine, illustrated specially from the Semi-Pagan Text 'Lacnunga'. J. H. G. GRATTAN, Charles Singer.

Anglo-Saxon Magic and Medicine, illustrated specially from the Semi-Pagan Text 'Lacnunga'.

London: Oxford University Press / The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 1952. First edition. Hardcover. Octavo. xii + 234pp. + 4 b/w plates. Maroon cloth gilt-lettered on spine. Index. B/w frontis, plates & in-text illustrations. 'Publications of The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, New Series, No.3.' An important study of early British magico-medical beliefs and practices - of the type that would later inform various of the cunning man traditions. The core of the work is an annotated translation of the work known as "Lacnunga," a collection of Anglo-Saxon medical texts, herbal recipes, prayers, spells and charms, written mainly in Old English and Latin that are preserved in the early eleventh century British Library Manuscript Harley 585. It includes a number of incantations in Old English alliterative verse, one of the best-known being the "Nine Herbs Charm," and also a number of "lays" (a sort of narrative charm - a form of sympathetic magic) such as the "lay against Elfshot," "Lay of the Night Goblin", "Lay of the Magic Blasts," etc. Cloth a bit rubbed and darkened, lower spine bumped, a few light bumps to edges and a little light rubbing to edges & points. Page edges browned, endpapers lightly foxed, small blacked out patch at upper edge of reverse side of rear blank, else a tight VG copy in Good dust jacket (Dust jacket browned with some foxing to panels, spine darkened and chipped at both ends, a few short closed tears, price clipped. Dust jacket is now protected by a removable mylar sleeve.). Item #63909


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