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Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 15:14
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Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

The magical traditions of ancient Greece encompassed spells, curse tablets, drugs, potions, poisons, amulets, and talismans. For many cultures of the past, there was a very fine line between magic, superstition, religion, and science. The ancient magicians were seen as symbols of wisdom, keepers of secrets, and masters of the arts, mathematics and science, particularly chemistry. Because magicians were believed to be individuals with access to supernatural powers, they were both feared and respected.

Spells and incantations had been used by the Egyptians for thousands of years and the Greeks carried this tradition forward, as evidenced by surviving Greek papyri containing magic records that date back to the 4th and 3rd century BC.

Magical book written in ancient Greek, which consisted of seven pages enclosed by a cover depicting a veiled woman's head and a bearded man.

Magical book written in ancient Greek, which consisted of seven pages enclosed by a cover depicting a veiled woman's head and a bearded man. (public domain)

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