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Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook

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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 and mythic tradition and in ritual practice. Recently, ancient magic has hit a high in popularity, both as an area of scholarly inquiry and as one of general, popular interest. In Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds Daniel Ogden presents three hundred texts in new translations, along with brief but explicit commentaries. This is the first book in the field to ...
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Overview


In a culture where the supernatural possessed an immediacy now strange to us, magic was of great importance both in the literary and mythic tradition and in ritual practice. Recently, ancient magic has hit a high in popularity, both as an area of scholarly inquiry and as one of general, popular interest. In Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds Daniel Ogden presents three hundred texts in new translations, along with brief but explicit commentaries. This is the first book in the field to unite extensive selections from both literary and documentary sources. Alongside descriptions of sorcerers, witches, and ghosts in the works of ancient writers, it reproduces curse tablets, spells from ancient magical recipe books, and inscriptions from magical amulets. Each translation is followed by a commentary that puts it in context within ancient culture and connects the passage to related passages in this volume. Authors include the well known (Sophocles, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny) and the less familiar, and extend across the whole of Greco-Roman antiquity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a marvelous book, in every sense of the word. For one thing, it is full of marvels--marvelous stories of ghostly and magical happenings.... And for another, it is marvelously assembled, making it a reference source that everyone researching this field will be delighted to possess.... It is all a reference book should be: accessible, navigable, convenient. What's more, it is both instructive and entertaining to read."--Journal of Scientific Exploration

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195151237
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Ogden is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Exeter.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1 Introduction 3
2 Greek Sorcerers 9
3 Alien Sorcerers 33
4 The Rivals of Jesus 61
5 Medea and Circe 78
6 Witches in Greek Literature 102
7 Witches in Latin Literature 115
8 Ghosts 146
9 Necromancy 179
10 Curses 210
11 Erotic Magic 227
12 Voodoo Dolls and Magical Images 245
13 Amulets 261
14 Magic and the Law 275
Bibliographies 301
Indices 339
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