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Series:

David Frankfurter

or to focus on discourses of ambiguous/illegitimate ritual (without use of magic as a translation) as described in Part 2, or conversely to examine texts and artifacts with ritual or apotropaic implications as described in Part 3—again, independently of a category magic. Thus this Guide does not

Series:

Naomi Janowitz

(dependence on context and creation of context) of words and other signs offers new ways of conceptualizing and classifying rituals in general. 9 As with magic, in the case of mysticism it is hard to escape a certain circularity. 10 Jewish mystical rites, for example, such as those in the Hekhalot texts, are

Series:

Andrew T. Wilburn

interest and debate has raged over the object because of its similarity to a set of spell instructions preserved in the Great Magical Papyrus of Paris, ( P. Bib. Nat. Supp . gr. no. 574 = PGM IV 296–466), a text dated to the fourth or fifth century CE . 3 Ancient ritual texts often functioned like

Series:

Andrew T. Wilburn

, shorthand in Rome for illicit ritual activity. 3 The mechanics of directing hostile forces against Germanicus were twofold: (1) tablets were inscribed with the victim’s name and (2) these objects were placed in a space that he inhabited. The inclusion of Germanicus’ name ensured that the ritual effect of

Series:

David Frankfurter

greater good. 2 But for the Mediterranean world of the Greco-Roman period, in the face of a veritable flood of data for magical practices (broadly imagined) and ritual specialists, the relationship of this purported world of magic to ancient or existing temple cults becomes especially confusing. So let

Series:

Sarah Iles Johnston

1 Introduction In order to address the utility of the concept of “magic” to interpret ancient theurgy, let me begin with a definition that might apply. Magic, let us say, is the use of rituals that are available only to those who have acquired them through special means—perhaps by being trained by

Series:

Esther Eidinow

anthropological studies. This essay will focus largely on aggressive magical practices, specifically relating to “curse tablets,” treating this as a broad category that includes a number of different types of ritual expression, but will also consider in passing other magical activities, including, for example

Series:

Joseph E. Sanzo

1 Introduction The nascent Jesus movements imagined in various ways sacred practices, actions, and gestures that we would call ‘rituals.’ 1 Although certain approaches to—and conceptions of—ritual remained constant throughout the first several centuries of Christian history, many shifted in

Series:

Jacco Dieleman

1 Introduction This chapter discusses the nature, functions, and perceptions of ritual and ritualists in pharaonic Egypt. Egyptian rituals can be understood as attempts to intervene in the natural course of events by mobilizing heka and so integrating the world of here and now into the cosmic

Series:

Daniel Schwemer

This chapter surveys forms of ritual that people in ancient Mesopotamia considered dangerous and potentially harmful. Some of these practices were prohibited by law, others occasionally frowned upon as ambiguous, even though they formed part of the written tradition. The discussion includes rituals