Lesson 2) Magical Beginnings

Welcome back, everyone, to Lesson Two: Magical Beginnings! Since we're still getting into the swing of things, I have just a couple announcements before I jump into the lesson.

Announcements

Please remember: this is History of Magic class. I appreciate input from the Muggle world, but remember to focus your essays around our world. In the previous assignment, amazing examples were used, but I took points off if your essay was lacking in wizarding world history.

Also, one last matter regarding grading. Some people may not like the grade they received on their essay, but I want you all to know that if you got a grade of less than 100, there was something vital missing from your essay. I tend to be a harsh grader, as most students will come to know. I stick very firmly to the rubric. Should you have any questions about the grade you received or the comments, contact me by owl. Still, I am impressed! The average grade on the essay was around an 85 or 90, so well done!

I think that's all for announcements. Again, if you have any questions, feel free to owl me. For now, let's jump into the lesson. Be sure to take notes on anything that you feel you need to!


Magical Beginnings

There are many, many theories as to how magic came to be. Most are dismissed as hokum by modern magical historians. They are usually developed by those who say their lineage comes from some of the first wizards. However, magical historians have narrowed down the creation of magic to three plausible theories. These three theories are as follows:

    • The Theory of Uno Mas 
    • The Migration Theory
    • The Theory of Hocus Pocus

The Theory of Uno Mas

The most popular theory for a long time, this theory states that all magic began from one person: the first wizard, Uno Mas. Uno Mas (although not his real name) is his given name by magical historians due to the belief that he was the original wizard. Originally found written in ancient Aramaic, the given name was translated to The First Magi. You many notice that the words have some overlap with Spanish, but do not be confused! The Spanish meaning is not an accurate translation as it comes out to mean “One More.” The theory was officially presented by William Marangue in his book "The Theory of Uno Mas". He states that Uno lived in the time of reptiles and before cavemen. He is believed to be the father of all wizards and witches.The theory also states that Uno created the first wand as well, making him the literal father of magic.

The Migration Theory

The Migration Theory is a little more complex. Believing magical and Muggle kind lived side-by-side for years of migration, it is thought that wizards and witches didn't know they had magic. Then when the Descent of Blizz (also known to Muggles as the Ice Age) hit, magical persons left the Muggles and created their own groups and settlements. These settlers founded many of the wizarding villages that exist today.

In 1535, the explorer and famous wizard historian Ho Mao Tseng followed the tracks of an unknown people whom he later learned practiced magic from a series of manuscripts found at a camp along this trail. However, the trails led to nothing, showing that these were the tracks of wizardkind who most likely died in an avalanche.

Additionally, in the 1800's (1803 and 1832) a group of Gringotts curse-breakers unearthed spells, jewelry, clothing, tools, and relics of a group of early magical people who migrated west towards France during the Descent of Blizz. Despite originally being suggested in the Theory of Hocus Pocus, it was the Migration Theory that first boldly claimed there is a natural progression of magic.

Birch Bark Manuscript

The Theory of Hocus Pocus

Finally, we have what is called the Theory of Hocus Pocus. This is the idea that magic came out of thin air naturally, and did not come specifically from a "first wizard." This theory focuses primarily on the first known uses of magic, as opposed to who first used magic. The theory suggests that women began to use magic as a form of persuasion and that from this came a "natural progression of magical tendencies." This term -- natural progression -- simply means that nature has a tendency to force specific habits upon humans who react differently than a magical person would.

The most prominent evidence supporting the Theory of Hocus Pocus is the Birch Bark Manuscript, which contains writings and observations that support this theory. It is stored at the Brussels Museum of Ancient Magical History and is kept by Professor Hugo Bjorken, the senior curator and magianthropologist. Many others, primarily curse-breakers, have recovered other artifacts such as tools, Diricawl feathers, a writing utensil at the time, and unicorn horn necklaces from other parts of the world, which have helped support the Theory of Hocus Pocus further.


Disagreement and Support

So, these theories attempt to explain why we are the way we are and where we came from. As you might imagine, each has its proponents and opponents - such as Dr. Josiah Loppet, who strongly disagrees with the Theory of Uno Mas. He wrote a book to refute this theory, entitled: "The Anti-Uno Mas Theory".

”Those who support the suggestions found in the Theory of Uno Mas mistakenly claim we lived among the dinosaurs. If this claim were to be true, then our relations to such ancestry should worry even the most liberal of conservatives.” (Loppet, 124) 

Although the Theory of Uno Mas is most widely accepted among individuals, scholars tend to believe that the Hocus Pocus theory is more suited in reality. 

Dr. Loppet was a strong proponent of the Hocus Pocus and Great Migration theories. He has worked with Professor Bjorken, a well known magianthropologist and previous professor, to retrieve a series of manuscripts from the Alps, which contained a large amount of information supporting the Hocus Pocus and Great Migration theories. There was much debate between Professor Bjorken and Madam Lilth Greenswald of the Museum of Alps History over who would get the manuscripts. In the end, Professor Bjorken won them.

Finally, while Ho Mao Tseng is known as the father of The Migration Theory, as he was its strongest supporter, people believe that he would have sided with Doctor Loppet and Professor Bjorken were he around today. 

That is all we will be discussing today; thank you for your attention. Your assignments have been posted and are available for you to do when you have time, but they will be due at the beginning of class. If you have any questions, please send me an owl.


Original lesson written by Professor Jæcob Balog
Image credits here and here

History of Magic 101 is a basic introduction to the history of the wizarding world. Topics covered include the various theories on the origins of magic, the Olmec and Clovis people, ancient Egyptian priests, and more. Students will work to understand larger topics in history and connect major events to people, places, and their own lives. Enroll