Magic in the Greco-Roman world

Magic In The Greco-Roman World

Magic in the Greco-Roman world

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The study of magic in the Greco-Roman world is a branch of the disciplines of classics, ancient history and religious studies. In the ancient post-hellenistic world of the Greeks and Romans (the Greco-Roman world), the public and private rituals associated with religion are accepted by historians and archaeologists to have been a part of everyday life. Examples of this phenomenon are found in the various state and cult Temples, Jewish Synagogues and in the early Christian cathedrals and churches. These were important hubs for the ancient peoples of the Greco-Roman world that were representative of a connection between the heavenly realms (the divine) and the earthly planes (the dwelling place of humanity). This context of magic has become an academic study especially in the last twenty years. Magic is generally seen as "any attempt to control the environment or the self by means that are either untested or untestable, such as charms or spells."


The principal defining factor of magic in the classical world is that it was held in low esteem and condemned by the speakers and writers.See e.g. Robert Fowler, 'Greek Magic, Greek Religion', Illinois Classical Studies 20 (1995), pp. 1-22. According to Robert Parker, "magic differs from religion as weeds differ from flowers"; magic was often seen consisting of practices that range from silly superstition to the wicked and...
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