Back to publications list

All publications


Publications of the New Europe College reflect the scholarly output of the fellows and researchers, as well as the events and programmes developed by the College.

Browse through our yearbooks

In Our World: Human Agency in Medieval and Early Modern Bulgarian Verbal Magic (2016-2017)


Publication: 10.58367/NECY.2023.1
Field of study: Magic and Popular Religion

This article deals with verbal magic, seen as power interaction between the human realm and the realm of the supernatural. Based on source material of approximately 200 medieval and early modern Bulgarian verbal charms, the study exmines the human agency in the belief system and practice of verbal charming. First, the article analyses the ritual performance, with its instructions, actions, paraphernalia, settings, human actors and proxemics. Then, the study deals with verbal amulets as major application and manifestation of verbal magic. Finally, the article investigates the ellusive figure of the charmer, via thorough collection of all data available, and offers synthesis of the various charming systems.

Keywords: apotropaic verbal amulets, crisis management, crisis rites, magical paraphernalia and proxemics, power narratives, quotidian applications of magic, verbal magic, verbal charms

Read more