Magic in the Ancient World

Author: Fritz Graf

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674541535

Category: History

Page: 313

View: 4724

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Ancient Greeks and Romans often turned to magic to achieve personal goals. Magical rites were seen as a route for direct access to the gods, for material gains as well as spiritual satisfaction. In this fascinating survey of magical beliefs and practices from the sixth century B.C.E. through late antiquity, Fritz Graf sheds new light on ancient religion. Evidence of widespread belief in the efficacy of magic is pervasive: the contemporaries of Plato and Aristotle placed voodoo dolls on graves in order to harm business rivals or attract lovers. The Twelve Tables of Roman Law forbids the magical transference of crops from one field to another. Graves, wells, and springs throughout the Mediterranean have yielded vast numbers of Greek and Latin curse tablets. And ancient literature abounds with scenes of magic, from necromancy to love spells. Graf explores the important types of magic in Greco-Roman antiquity, describing rites and explaining the theory behind them. And he characterizes the ancient magician: his training and initiation, social status, and presumed connections with the divine world. With trenchant analysis of underlying conceptions and vivid account of illustrative cases, Graf gives a full picture of the practice of magic and its implications. He concludes with an evaluation of the relation of magic to religion. Magic in the Ancient World offers an unusual look at ancient Greek and Roman thought and a new understanding of popular recourse to the supernatural.

Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds

A Sourcebook

Author: Daniel Ogden

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195151237

Category: History

Page: 353

View: 2082

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In a culture where the supernatural possessed an immediacy now strange to us, magic was of great importance both in the literary mythic tradition and in ritual practice. In this book, Daniel Ogden presents 300 texts in new translations, along with brief but explicit commentaries. Authors include the well known (Sophocles, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny) and the less familiar, and extend across the whole of Graeco-Roman antiquity.

Magika Hiera

Ancient Greek Magic and Religion

Author: Christopher A. Faraone,Dirk Obbink

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195111400

Category: History

Page: 298

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This collection challenges the tendency among scholars of ancient Greece to see magical and religious ritual as mutually exclusive and to ignore "magical" practices in Greek religion. The contributors survey specific bodies of archaeological, epigraphical, and papyrological evidence for magical practices in the Greek world, and, in each case, determine whether the traditional dichotomy between magic and religion helps in any way to conceptualize the objective features of the evidence examined. Contributors include Christopher A. Faraone, J.H.M. Strubbe, H.S. Versnel, Roy Kotansky, John Scarborough, Samuel Eitrem, Fritz Graf, John J. Winkler, Hans Dieter Betz, and C.R. Phillips.

Magic in the Ancient Greek World

Author: Derek Collins

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470695722

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 6210

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Original and comprehensive, Magic in the Ancient Greek World takes the reader inside both the social imagination and the ritual reality that made magic possible in ancient Greece. Explores the widespread use of spells, drugs, curse tablets, and figurines, and the practitioners of magic in the ancient world Uncovers how magic worked. Was it down to mere superstition? Did the subject need to believe in order for it to have an effect? Focuses on detailed case studies of individual types of magic Examines the central role of magic in Greek life

Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity

The World of the Acts of the Apostles

Author: Hans-Josef Klauck

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9780567089625

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 5031

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Many forms of magic and paganism were practiced at the time of Jesus. What were these practices, and how did the first Christians react to them?Hans-Josef Klauck, an expert in the cultic practices of the region, describes this world into which Christianity was born and relates to it the many experiences of the first Christians recorded in Acts. Peter, for example, encounters the Samaritan magician Simon; Paul meets the Jewish magician Bar-Jesus; the people in Lystra want to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas; a soothsaying slave girl is the occasion of conflict in Philippi; in Athens, Paul finds the city full of idols but also discovers an altar 'to an unknown god'; in Ephesus, some burn their books of magic formulae, while other provoke a riot in the name of Artemis.Professor Klauck provides a fascinating account of these phenomena and their significance for Christianity historically and today.Available November 2000.

Daughters of Hecate

Women and Magic in the Ancient World

Author: Kimberly B. Stratton,Dayna S. Kalleres

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195342712

Category: History

Page: 533

View: 2653

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Interrogating the magic-gender connection / Kimberly B. Stratton -- From goddess to hag: the Greek and the Roman witch in classical literature / Barbette Stanley Spaeth -- "The most worthy of women is a mistress of magic": women as witches and ritual practitioners in I Enoch and rabbinic sources / Rebecca Lesses -- Gendering heavenly secrets?: women, angels, and the problem of misogyny and "magic" / Annette Yoshiko Reed -- Magic, abjection, and gender in Roman literature / Kimberly B. Stratton -- Magic accusations against women in Tacitus's Annals / Elizabeth Ann Pollard -- Drunken hags with amulets and prostitutes with erotic spells: the re-feminization of magic in late antique Christian homilies / Dayna S. Kelleres -- The bishop, the pope, and the prophetess: rival ritual experts in third century Cappadocia / Ayşe Tuzlak -- Living images of the divine: female theurgists in late antiquity / Nicola Denzley Lewis -- Sorceresses and sorcerers in early Christian tours of Hell / Kirsti Barrett Copeland -- The social context of women's erotic magic in antiquity / David Frankfurter -- Cheating women: curse tablets and Roman wives / Pauline Ripat -- Saffron, spices, and sorceresses: magic bowls and the Bavli / Yaakov Elman -- Victimology, or: how to deal with untimely death / Fritz Graf -- A Gospel amulet for Joannia (P.Oxy. VIII 1151) / Annemarie Luijendijk.

Hypatia of Alexandria

Author: Maria Dzielska

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674437760

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 157

View: 1825

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Hypatiaâe"brilliant mathematician, eloquent Neoplatonist, and a woman renowned for her beautyâe"was brutally murdered by a mob of Christians in Alexandria in 415. She has been a legend ever since. In this engrossing book, Maria Dzielska searches behind the legend to bring us the real story of Hypatia's life and death, and new insight into her colorful world. Historians and poets, Victorian novelists and contemporary feminists have seen Hypatia as a symbolâe"of the waning of classical culture and freedom of inquiry, of the rise of fanatical Christianity, or of sexual freedom. Dzielska shows us why versions of Hypatia's legend have served her champions' purposes, and how they have distorted the true story. She takes us back to the Alexandria of Hypatia's day, with its Library and Museion, pagan cults and the pontificate of Saint Cyril, thriving Jewish community and vibrant Greek culture, and circles of philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, and militant Christians. Drawing on the letters of Hypatia's most prominent pupil, Synesius of Cyrene, Dzielska constructs a compelling picture of the young philosopher's disciples and her teaching. Finally she plumbs her sources for the facts surrounding Hypatia's cruel death, clarifying what the murder tells us about the tensions of this tumultuous era.

Arcana Mundi

Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts

Author: Georg Luck

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801883453

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 382

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Magic, miracles, daemonology, divination, astrology, and alchemy were the arcana mundi, the "secrets of the universe," of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In this path-breaking collection of Greek and Roman writings on magic and the occult, Georg Luck provides a comprehensive sourcebook and introduction to magic as it was practiced by witches and sorcerers, magi and astrologers, in the Greek and Roman worlds. In this new edition, Luck has gathered and translated 130 ancient texts dating from the eighth century BCE through the fourth century CE. Thoroughly revised, this volume offers several new elements: a comprehensive general introduction, an epilogue discussing the persistence of ancient magic into the early Christian and Byzantine eras, and an appendix on the use of mind-altering substances in occult practices. Also added is an extensive glossary of Greek and Latin magical terms. In Arcana Mundi Georg Luck presents a fascinating—and at times startling—alternative vision of the ancient world. "For a long time it was fashionable to ignore the darker and, to us, perhaps, uncomfortable aspects of everyday life in Greece and Rome," Luck has written. "But we can no longer idealize the Greeks with their 'artistic genius' and the Romans with their 'sober realism.' Magic and witchcraft, the fear of daemons and ghosts, the wish to manipulate invisible powers—all of this was very much a part of their lives."

Ancient Greek Love Magic

Author: Christopher A. FARAONE,Christopher A Faraone

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674036703

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 606

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The ancient Greeks commonly resorted to magic spells to attract and keep lovers--as numerous allusions in Greek literature and recently discovered voodoo dolls, magical papyri, gemstones, and curse tablets attest. Surveying and analyzing these various texts and artifacts, Christopher Faraone reveals that gender is the crucial factor in understanding love spells. There are, he argues, two distinct types of love magic: the curselike charms used primarily by men to torture unwilling women with fiery and maddening passion until they surrender sexually; and the binding spells and debilitating potions generally used by women to sedate angry or philandering husbands and make them more affectionate. Faraone's lucid analysis of these spells also yields a number of insights about the construction of gender in antiquity, for example, the femininity of socially inferior males and the maleness of autonomous prostitutes. Most significantly, his findings challenge the widespread modern view that all Greek men considered women to be naturally lascivious. Faraone reveals the existence of an alternate male understanding of the female as naturally moderate and chaste, who uses love magic to pacify and control the naturally angry and passionate male. This fascinating study of magical practices and their implications for perceptions of male and female sexuality offers an unusual look at ancient Greek religion and society.

Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World

Author: Matthew W Dickie,Matthew W. Dickie

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134533365

Category: History

Page: 392

View: 3455

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This study is the first to assemble the evidence for the existence of sorcerors in the ancient world; it also addresses the question of their identity and social origins. The resulting investigation takes us to the underside of Greek and Roman society, into a world of wandering holy men and women, conjurors and wonder-workers, and into the lives of prostitutes, procuresses, charioteers and theatrical performers. This fascinating reconstruction of the careers of witches and sorcerors allows us to see into previously inaccessible areas of Greco-Roman life. Compelling for both its detail and clarity, and with an extraordinarily revealing breadth of evidence employed, it will be an essential resource for anyone studying ancient magic.

Women in the Ancient World

Author: Jenifer Neils

Publisher: British museum Press

ISBN: 9780714150772

Category: Art, Egyptian

Page: 216

View: 3413

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The daily lives and roles of women in the ancient world of Greece and Rome, Egypt and the Near East were fascinating and varied, often going well beyond the traditional view of `a woman's place'. Through themes such as domestic life, religion, royalty, work, motherhood and mourning, stereotypes, costume and the body, this lively book explores the traditions and trends of different cultures, using intriguing juxtapositions of images to compare and contrast thé attitudes of each society. The author takes a fresh and thought - provoking look at new ways of viewing these images, pointing out the signs that reveal how a woman is to be viewed, whether as an example of perfect femininity or the object of scorn. This beautifully designed book is packed with a wide range of objects from the collection of the British Museum, including sculpture, wall - paintings, jewellery, mummy - cases and domestic artefacts. Revealing compelling details about the everyday lives of women in the ancient world, often with surprising resonances for our own lime, it will delight, inform and entertain.

Icons of Power

Ritual Practices in Late Antiquity

Author: Naomi Janowitz

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 9780271047911

Category: Religion

Page: N.A

View: 5223

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Greek Homosexuality

Author: Kenneth James Dover

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674362703

Category: History

Page: 246

View: 2873

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To what extent and in what ways was homosexuality approved by the ancient Greeks? An eminent classicist examines the evidence--vase paintings, archaic and classical poetry, the dialogues of Plato, speeches in the law courts, the comedies of Aristophanes--and reaches provocative conclusions. A discussion of female homosexuality is included.

The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece

Author: M. Rigoglioso

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230620914

Category: Religion

Page: 278

View: 6745

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This book argues that specialized cadres of virgin priestesses in ancient Greece were believed to give birth in miraculous fashion as a means of bringing forth holy political and spiritual leaders.

Birds in the Ancient World

Winged Words

Author: Jeremy Mynott

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191022721

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 6542

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Birds pervaded the ancient world, impressing their physical presence on the daily experience and imaginations of ordinary people and figuring prominently in literature and art. They provided a fertile source of symbols and stories in myths and folklore and were central to the ancient rituals of augury and divination. Jeremy Mynott's Birds in the Ancient World illustrates the many different roles birds played in culture: as indicators of time, weather and the seasons; as a resource for hunting, eating, medicine and farming; as domestic pets and entertainments; and as omens and intermediaries between the gods and humankind. We learn how birds were perceived - through quotations from well over a hundred classical Greek and Roman authors, all of them translated freshly into English, through nearly 100 illustrations from ancient wall-paintings, pottery and mosaics, and through selections from early scientific writings, and many anecdotes and descriptions from works of history, geography and travel. Jeremy Mynott acts as a stimulating guide to this rich and fascinating material, using birds as a prism through which to explore both the similarities and the often surprising differences between ancient conceptions of the natural world and our own. His book is an original contribution to the flourishing interest in the cultural history of birds and to our understanding of the ancient cultures in which birds played such a prominent part.

The Dawn of Christianity

People and Gods in a Time of Magic and Miracles

Author: Robert C. Knapp

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782830219

Category: History

Page: 303

View: 2761

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Exploring the origins of Christianity, this book looks at why it was that people first in Judea and then in the Roman and Greek Mediterranean world became susceptible to the new religion. Robert Knapp looks for answers in a wide-ranging exploration of religion and everyday life from 200 BC to the end of the first century. Survival, honour and wellbeing were the chief preoccupations of Jews and polytheists alike. In both cases, the author shows, people turned first to supernatural powers. According to need, season and place polytheists consulted and placated vast constellations of gods, while the Jews worshipped and contended with one almighty and jealous deity. Professor Knapp considers why any Jew or polytheist would voluntarily dispense with a well-tried way of dealing with the supernatural and trade it in for a new model. What was it about the new religion that led people to change beliefs they had held for millennia and which in turn, within four centuries of the birth of its messiah, led it to transform the western world? His conclusions are as convincing as they are sometimes surprising.

Magic in the Biblical World

From the Rod of Aaron to the Ring of Solomon

Author: Todd Klutz

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 056731801X

Category: Religion

Page: 278

View: 4379

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The category 'magic' , long used to signify an allegedly substantive type of activity distinguishable from 'religion', has nearly been dismantled by recent historical and social-scientific approaches to religious studies. While recognising and at times reinforcing this stance, the essays in this collection show that there is still much to be learned about the cultural context of early Judaism and Christianity by analysing ancient texts which either use 'magic' as a category for purposes of deviance labelling or promote behaviour of a broadly magico-religious variety. Through sustained engagement with texts ranging from Exod. 7-9 and Acts 8 to the Testament of Solomon and the Late Antique alchemical treatise known as the Cyranides, this volume focuses chiefly on materials that challenge the familiar boundaries between miracle and magic and medicine; yet it also heightens awareness of the way unsuspecting use of a sick sign (e.g. 'magic') can impede critical understanding of texts and their respective contexts of production and reception. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series, Volume 245.

A Kind of Magic

Understanding Magic in the New Testament and its Religious Environment

Author: Michael Labahn,Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0567629554

Category: Religion

Page: 226

View: 1618

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This collection of articles by distinguished scholars and experts in their particular fields of research is introduced by a chapter dealing with general matters of the current hermeneutics of magic: what is the nature of magic and what is the understanding of magic in the Western world-view and what - for instance - in the African world? Centered around studies on Jesus and magic the second part contains studies on the use of the term "magic" in the New Testament and especially in Acts. The third section broadens the understanding of magic through selected case studies in different approaches to magic in the environment and background of the New Testament (Old Testament, Qumran, Apuleius, Women as Magicians). Early Christianity subsequent to the New Testament develops its own view of magic, criticizing pagan magic but not being uninfluenced by magic or magic-like practices. This development is part of the fourth and last chapter of the collection along with two different papers on the possible use of Jewish and Christian themes in later magical texts. The collection explores the importance of magic within Early Christianity, an issue shared with its Old Testament and Jewish roots and with its ancient background, implying reluctance and critique. Both magical traits and the critique of non-Christian magic have an impact on later scripture and still exert influence now on modern theoretical discussion and popular ideas.