Chapter 12 Introduction

In: Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic
David Frankfurter
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As an introduction and overview to “the Materials of Ancient Magic,” this chapter discusses the general nature of the corpora and artifacts historically used by scholars to substantiate a “magic.” Instructions for spells are not “magic” but ritual manuals with a variety of historical and religious contexts for their writing; amulets and defixiones also must be situated in particular places and circumstances; and apotropaic building materials (e.g.) belong to the habitus of creating social spaces.

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