Greek and Roman Necromancy

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Overview

"This study fills a gaping hole in the scholarship, and it is sorely needed. The fascinating material it covers has never been collected and discussed in one volume, in spite of the current surge of interest in ancient magic and its intersection with religion. The author's command of the sources is excellent. He has made an exhaustive survey of all the relevant evidence, so that the coverage of the subject is satisfyingly complete."—Jennifer Larson, Kent State University

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Peter Green
[A] substantial contribution. . . . Ogden takes on . . . Necromancy . . . with a huge diachronic sweep and exhaustive trawling of evidence. . . . [This] book will be indispensable to future scholars.
New York Review of Books - Jasper Griffin
The thought of raising and consulting the dead runs throughout the history of antiquity. . . . The dead who did come back were often in an angry and violent mood; a hero might be needed to vanquish them, or a potent magic to induce them to be gone. . . . Ogden's [is an] admirably cool and scholarly discussion of necromancy.
International History Review - Julia Kindt
Ogden's book . . . makes it easy for the reader to follow and enjoy the beauty (and sometimes strangeness) of the sources and the accounts of necromancy they provide.
Religious Studies Review - Elise P. Garrison
It is rare and refreshing to read a book of the high caliber of the one under review. The scope is breathtaking, the sources cited are thorough and wide-ranging, and the author's own biases are either nonexistent or kept completely under control. Furthermore, the subject matter is so provocative and the writer's style is so direct and fast paced that it is difficult to put the book down once begun. . . . Whether one sits down to read the book cover to cover or comes to it as a resource tool, there will be no disappointment.
From the Publisher
"[A] substantial contribution. . . . Ogden takes on . . . Necromancy . . . with a huge diachronic sweep and exhaustive trawling of evidence. . . . [This] book will be indispensable to future scholars."—Peter Green, Times Literary Supplement

"The thought of raising and consulting the dead runs throughout the history of antiquity. . . . The dead who did come back were often in an angry and violent mood; a hero might be needed to vanquish them, or a potent magic to induce them to be gone. . . . Ogden's [is an] admirably cool and scholarly discussion of necromancy."—Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books

"Ogden's book . . . makes it easy for the reader to follow and enjoy the beauty (and sometimes strangeness) of the sources and the accounts of necromancy they provide."—Julia Kindt, International History Review

"It is rare and refreshing to read a book of the high caliber of the one under review. The scope is breathtaking, the sources cited are thorough and wide-ranging, and the author's own biases are either nonexistent or kept completely under control. Furthermore, the subject matter is so provocative and the writer's style is so direct and fast paced that it is difficult to put the book down once begun. . . . Whether one sits down to read the book cover to cover or comes to it as a resource tool, there will be no disappointment."—Elise P. Garrison, Religious Studies Review

"For specialists, this is a treasure trove of the ancient evidence on necromancy and its related modern scholarship."—Choice

Times Literary Supplement
[A] substantial contribution. . . . Ogden takes on . . . Necromancy . . . with a huge diachronic sweep and exhaustive trawling of evidence. . . . [This] book will be indispensable to future scholars.
— Peter Green
New York Review of Books
The thought of raising and consulting the dead runs throughout the history of antiquity. . . . The dead who did come back were often in an angry and violent mood; a hero might be needed to vanquish them, or a potent magic to induce them to be gone. . . . Ogden's [is an] admirably cool and scholarly discussion of necromancy.
— Jasper Griffin
International History Review
Ogden's book . . . makes it easy for the reader to follow and enjoy the beauty (and sometimes strangeness) of the sources and the accounts of necromancy they provide.
— Julia Kindt
Religious Studies Review
It is rare and refreshing to read a book of the high caliber of the one under review. The scope is breathtaking, the sources cited are thorough and wide-ranging, and the author's own biases are either nonexistent or kept completely under control. Furthermore, the subject matter is so provocative and the writer's style is so direct and fast paced that it is difficult to put the book down once begun. . . . Whether one sits down to read the book cover to cover or comes to it as a resource tool, there will be no disappointment.
— Elise P. Garrison
Choice
For specialists, this is a treasure trove of the ancient evidence on necromancy and its related modern scholarship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691119687
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/12/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii
Preface ix
Abbreviations xi
Introduction xv
PART I: PLACES 1
Chapter 1: Tombs and Battlefields 3
Chapter 2: Oracles of the Dead 17
Chapter 3: The Heracleia Pontica and Tainaron Nekuomanteia 29
Chapter 4: The Acheron Nekuomanteia 49
Chapter 5: The Avernus Nekuomanteia 61
Chapter 6: Incubation and Dreaming 75
PART II: PEOPLE 93
Chapter 7: Evocators, Sorcerers, and Ventriloquists 95
Chapter 8: Shamus, Pythagoreans, and Orphics 116
Chapter 9: Aliens and Witches 128
Chapter 10: Necromancy among the Romans 149
PART III: TECHNOLOGY 161
Chapter 11: Traditional Rites of Evocation 163
Chapter 12: From Bowl Divination to Boy-Sacrifice 191
Chapter 13: Reanimation and Talking heads 202
PART IV: THEORY 217
Chapter 14: Ghosts in Necromancy 219
Chapter 15: The Wisdom of the Dead 231
Chapter 16: Between Life and Death 251
CONCLUSION: Attitudes toward Necromancy 263
Bibliography 269
Index 303

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