386. Perhaps Not Wrong: Cornelius Agrippa

Posted on 19 December 2021

Was Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa a dark magician, a pious skeptic, or both?

Further Reading

• A. Rabil Jr (ed. and trans.), Henricus Cornelius Agrippa: Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex (Chicago: 1996).

The Vanity of Arts and Sciences by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (London: 1676).


• I. Backus, “Agrippa on ‘Human Knowledge of God’ and ‘Human Knowledge of the External World',” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 65 (1983), 147-59.

• M.H. Keefer, “Agrippa’s Dilemma: Hermetic Rebirth and the Ambivalences of De Vanitate and De Occulta Philosophia,Renaissance Quarterly 41 (1988), 614-53.

• C.I. Lehrich, The Language of Demons and Angels. Cornelius Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy (Leiden: 2003).

C.G. Nauert, Agrippa and the Crisis of Renaissance Thought (Urbana: 1965).

• B. Newman, “Renaissance Feminism and Esoteric Theology: The Case of Cornelius Agrippa,” Viator 24 (1993), 337-56.

• V. Perrone Compagni, “Dispersa intentio: Alchemy, Magic and Scepticism in Agrippa,” Early Science and Medicine 5 (2000), 160-77.

• M. Van der Poel, Cornelius Agrippa, the Humanist Theologian and His Declamations (Leiden: 1997).

• P. Zambelli, White Magic, Black Magic in the European Renaissance (Leiden: 2007).


Stanford Encyclopedia: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim


Alex McGregor 3 January 2022

At 6:55, I think you meant to refer to Christopher Marlowe? Having said that, the story of Faust would make a good foundation for a Chandler novel...

Peter Adamson 3 January 2022

In reply to by Alex McGregor

Oh dear! Yes, of course that's right. Thanks, I will change that for the book version.

P. McNamara 5 January 2022

Been listening (and loving) your show for some months, despite not being philosophically minded-- hoping to change that, but it's slow going. That last line got me- what a pun! I actually laughed out loud. 

Thanks, glad you like the series! I'm guessing that for every listener who enjoys the puns there are five who roll their eyes, so I'm also glad you were in the more select group.

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