Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: by Daniel Ogden

By Daniel Ogden

In a tradition the place the supernatural possessed an immediacy now unusual to us, magic was once of significant value either within the literary and mythic culture and in ritual perform. lately, old magic has hit a excessive in attractiveness, either as a space of scholarly inquiry and as one in all basic, renowned curiosity. In Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts within the Greek and Roman Worlds Daniel Ogden offers 300 texts in new translations, besides short yet specific commentaries. this is often the 1st e-book within the box to unite huge decisions from either literary and documentary resources. along descriptions of sorcerers, witches, and ghosts within the works of historic writers, it reproduces curse capsules, spells from historic magical recipe books, and inscriptions from magical amulets. every one translation is by way of a statement that places it in context inside historic tradition and connects the passage to similar passages during this quantity. Authors contain the well-known (Sophocles, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny) and the fewer primary, and expand around the entire of Greco-Roman antiquity.

the second one variation contains a new preface, an up to date bibliography, and new source-passages, corresponding to the earliest use of the observe "mage" in Greek" (fr. Aeschylus' Persians ), a werewolf story (Aesop's Fables), and excerpts from the main systematic account of historic laws opposed to magic (Theodosian Code).

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Such rites delighted the demons that had inveigled themselves into being worshiped in the place of these actual dead men, whom they had made people think were gods, through the evidence of some false miracles. But by the hidden providence of the true God it was brought about that the demons were made to bestow favor on their friend Numa Pompilius through the crafts associated with hydromancy, and were allowed to tell him everything, except to warn him to burn the books before he died as opposed to merely burying Persian mages, Pythagoras, Numa and lecanomancy 39 40 MAGIC, WITCHCRAFT, AND GHOSTS IN THE GREEK AND ROMAN WORLDS them.

As for the act of ghost-laying, the association made between the evocators’ calling up of ghosts for placation and the purification of pollution is CHAPTER 2: GREEK SORCERERS valuable; compare 9. 17). The term is more likely to be the noun denoting “attacking ghost” found in the Cyrenean ghost-laying prescriptions (124) and to refer directly to the angry ghost of Pausanias. C. 134 Greek When Pausanias was on the point of giving up the ghost [apopsuchein] in the chamber [of the temple of Athene Chalkioikos], the Spartans realized this and brought him out of the shrine still just about breathing, but as soon as he was brought out he died.

For when he was based at the Hellespont with the Spartan navy and the navies of the allies, he developed a passion for a virgin of Byzantium. At nightfall Cleonice—for this was the girl’s name—was brought to him by officers detailed to do so. Pausanias was asleep at this time, but he was roused by the noise. For as she made her way toward him she accidentally knocked over a lighted lamp. Pausanias was in a perpetual state of restless anxiety because of his guilty conscience for betraying Greece.

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