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Magic refers to supernatural power, real or illusory. The word derives from magus, which was the name for a Zoroastrian priest. The most famous of these were the three magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus.

Illusory Magic

The most famous magical trick from period is the Indian rope trick. Observed by Marco Polo this feat was performed in China. The trick involves the magician throwing the end of a rope into the air. Instead of falling back down the rope stays erect. A boy assistant then climbs up the rope and disappears into thin air. The magician follows with a sword, an argument is heard, and severed limbs fly out of the air into a basket. The magician descends, and then helps the restored boy assistant out of the basket.

For an excellent, well-written but academic discussion about this trick, it's origins and how it may have been performed, see: Lamont, Peter "The Rise of the Great Indian Rope Trick" (US: Thunder's Mouth Press 2005) ISBN: 1560256613