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Unformatted text preview: November 7, 2007 Magic and Astrology in Ancient Rome Roman and Greek Magic o Greek magic influences, resembles Roman: review o Definition the attempt to influence nature by supernatural means No one Greek or Latin term Overlap with science (natural philosophy) o Principles Cosmic sympathy Similarity Contagion Coercive action Roman magic spells o Healing incantations Ex: Cato the Elder on healing bones Sympathy: manipulation of reed affect bone Similarity: reed shaped like bone Nonsense syllables: garbled Latin o Curses Potions (poisons) Specific effects: memory loss, illness, loss of passion etc. o Example: poet Lucretius (1 st century BCE) Supposedly driven insane by love potion Composes De Rerum Natura between fits of madness Dedicates poem to Venus Binding spells ( defixiones, devotiones ) Voodoo dolls, curse tablets Invocation of underworld spirits Ex: charioteers curse Defense against curses (ex: bulla) Political and social contexts of Roman magic o Magic in the Twelve Tables Twelve Tables: codification of Roman law (5...
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course CLT 3371 taught by Professor Marks during the Fall '07 term at University of Florida.
- Fall '07