Magonia (mythology)

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Magonia is the name of the cloud realm whence felonious aerial sailors were said to have come according to the polemical treatise by Carolingian bishop Agobard of Lyon in 815, where he argues against weather magic. The treatise is titled De Grandine et Tonitruis ("On Hail and Thunder").


The inhabitants of this realm were said to travel the clouds in ships and worked with Frankish tempestarii ("tempest-raisers" or weather-magi) to steal grain from the fields during (magically raised) storms.[1]

Document history[edit]

Agobard's works were lost until 1605, when a manuscript was discovered in Lyons and published by Papirius Masson, and again by Baluze in 1666. For later editions see August Potthast, Bibliotheca Historica Medii Aevi. The life of Agobard in Ebert's Allgemeine Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters im Abendlande (1880), Band ii., is still the best one to consult. For further indications see A. Molinier, Sources de l'histoire de France, i. p. 235.

Popular Culture[edit]

Magonia is featured in Jacques Vallee's book Passport to Magonia, which explores the link between modern UFO visitations and reports from antiquity of contact with these "space beings" where he quotes Agobard's description.

Maria Dahvana Headley's young adult novel Magonia also references the mythological realm.


  1. ^ De Grandine et Tonitruis pp. 8-10: "Plerosque autem vidimus et audivimus tanta dementia obrutos, tanta stultitia alienatos, ut credant et dicant quandam esse regionem, quæ dicatur Magonia, ex qua naves veniant in nubibus, in quibus fruges, quæ grandinibus decidunt, et tempestatibus pereunt, vehantur in eamdem regionem, ipsis videlicet nautis aëreis dantibus pretia tempestariis, et accipientibus frumenta vel ceteras fruges. Ex his item tam profunda stultitia excoecatis, ut haec posse fieri credant, vidimus plures in quodam conventu hominum exhibere vinctos quatuor homines, tres viros, et unam feminam, quasi qui de ipsis navibus ceciderint; quos scilicet per aliquot dies in vinculis detentos, tandem collecto conventu hominum exhibuerunt, ut dixi, in nostra præsentia, tanquam lapidandos. Sed tamen vincente veritate, post multam ratiocinationem, ipsi qui eos exhibuerant, secundum propheticum illud confusi sunt, sicut confunditur fur quando deprehenditur". An English translation can be found at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook.