The Myth of the Magus / Edition 1

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The Magus, a legendary magician of superhuman powers, is an archetype central to myth and religion across many cultures. Identifying its anthropological origins in ancient rituals performed by a shaman or wizard to ensure the prosperity of his tribe, E. M. Butler goes on to trace its subsequent development in pre-Christian religious and mystic philosophers, in medieval sorcerers and alchemists, and finally in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century occult revival. From Zoroaster to Solomon, Merlin to Faust, Cagliostro to Rasputin, legends of the Magus are explored and where possible compared with the historical record in this fascinating account, first published in 1948, of one of the major figures in religious and occult mythology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Scholarly, original and entertaining.' The Times Literary Supplement

'Delightful reading and highly informative.' Bertrand Russell

'This book is filled with rich stories and a wealth of interesting material. It makes excellent reading.' Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521437776
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Series: Canto Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Introduction: Origins (a) The Ritual Hero, (b) The Professional Practitioner Part I. The Golden Age: 1. The Wise Men of the East (a) The Magi, (b) Zoroaster; 2. Hebrew Holy Men (a) Moses, (b) Solomon; 3. The Sages of Greece (a) Pythagoras (b) Apollonius of Tyana; 4. The Downfall of the Magus (a) Christ, (b) Simon Magus Part II. The Dark Ages: 1. Under the Christian Cloud (a) Cyprian, (b) Theophilus, (c) Gerbert; 2. Post-Pagan Shades (a) Virgil, (b) Merlin; 3. Beneath a Black Sun (a) Zyto, (b) Joan and Gilles, (c) Doctor Faust, (d) Friar Bacon; 4. In the Light of Common Day (a) Dee and Kelley (b) Gauffridi and Grandier; Part III. Return of the Magi: 1. Aristeas Redivivus; 2. The Man of Mystery; 3. The Grand Copht; 4. Madame and the Masters; 5. The 'Holy Devil'; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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