Today’s blog post is the second in a series about our visit to the 2023 Alabama Renaissance Faire. Last week’s post was about the gentleman portraying the Italian astronomer Galileo. This week’s post is about a gentleman acting as a wizard. Or perhaps he is an actual wizard?
When researching the history of wizards I came across more than one image of this same gentleman. At first I thought it might be different men but wearing the same costume. But it seems that this man can be recognized by his gaze as well as his costume. That’s why I wondered if this man is an excellent actor or an actual wizard.
Just what is a wizard? There are many synonyms for the word as well as several definitions. Dictionaries agree on the most common definitions of a magician or sorcerer or a person of amazing skill or accomplishment. Synonyms include medium, fortuneteller, occultist, seer, witch, warlock, as well as magician and sorcerer.
Let’s consider the definitions and synonyms that pertain to the Renaissance period in history.
Before the Renaissance, which is generally described between the 14th and 17th Centuries, magic was considered witchcraft and had a very negative connotation. However, during the 15th and 16th Centuries attitudes and beliefs about magic were changing.
This attitude change can be realized in the writings of the time. In Medieval times magic was written about mainly as fantasies and fictional activities. However, during the Renaissance magic was seen and written about as a more complex issue that could explain things that science could not, a form of hidden knowledge that could be found in rituals and writings.
A few authors that highlight this change in attitude include C.S. Lewis, Spencer, Chapman and even Shakespeare. Pico della Mirandola, an Italian nobleman and philosopher, studied under a Rabbi who insisted that the study of magic was an important stage in one’s intellectual and spiritual education.
Do crystals have magical powers as the wizard believes when he holds it out for me to view? Will his hooded cape protect him from the evil that may exist where he ventures? Is he a real magician or an actor costumed as a Renaissance Wizard?
I don’t know what the answers are to the questions above. What I do know is that this gentleman spotted me taking pictures at the Renaissance Faire in Florence, Alabama and struck a pose. He then held that pose until I put my camera down at which time he turned and slowly walked off.
There will be a few more blog entries about our visit to the Alabama Renaissance Faire in the coming weeks. Be sure to bookmark this site to read those entries and find links to the accompanying images.
Be sure and share you Renaissance Faire experiences in the comment section.
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