By John G. Gager

ISBN-10: 0195062264

ISBN-13: 9780195062267

ISBN-10: 0195134826

ISBN-13: 9780195134827

Within the old Greco-Roman global, it was once universal perform to curse or bind an enemy or rival through writing an incantation on a capsule and dedicating it to a god or spirit. those curses or binding spells, often referred to as defixiones have been meant to deliver folks lower than the ability and keep watch over of these who commissioned them. greater than one thousand such texts, written among the fifth Century B.C.E. and the fifth Century C.E., were came upon from North Africa to England, and from Syria to Spain. Extending into each element of historical life--athletic and theatrical competitions, judicial lawsuits, amorous affairs, enterprise rivalries, and the restoration of stolen property--they make clear a brand new measurement of classical research formerly inaccessible. the following, for the 1st time, those texts were translated into English with a considerable translator's advent revealing the cultural, social, and historic context for the texts. This ebook will curiosity historians, classicists, students of faith, and people interested by old magic.

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Reveals both imprints left by hair as well as several of the strands themselves, presumably from the head of Tyche, the target of the spell. The symbolism of the hair is not difficult to comprehend. Like a modern wallet photograph, it makes present the absent person, and like the use 18 Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World of synecdoche in poetic and other forms of figurative speech, with which spells show numerous similarities, a part of something can always stand for the whole.

See the discussion by W. van Rengen, "Deux defixions centre les bleus a Apamee (VIe siecle apr. )," Apamee de Syrie (1984), pp. 213-34. 55. See pp. -203. 56. A. Grabar, Christian Iconography. A Study of Its Origins (Princeton, 1968), p. 64. 57. Grabar, Iconography, p. 21. 58. One notable exception to this rule is C. Bonner's study of figures on gemamulets in Amulets. Two proposed studies now promise to fill this void. P. Corby Finney has undertaken the task of producing an iconographic catalogue of all ancient magical documents, and Richard L.

A Hittite ritual, presumably used by a professional, for counteracting spells uses the familiar formula, "Just as ... 128 An early student of Greek and Latin defixiones concludes from his examination of six biblical curses (Judges 17:1-2; Malachi 3:8-9; Zechariah 5:2-4; Jeremiah 51:60-64; Ezekiel 4:1-3; 2 Kings 13:17-19) that these texts "contain all the principal elements of defixiones . . "129 All in all, there seems little reason to doubt the word of S. A. B. Mercer, given already in 1915, that the malediction in Babylonian and Assyrian times was a highly developed legal and religious ceremony, universally practiced and respected.

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Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World by John G. Gager


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