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Drawing Down the MoonMagic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World$
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Radcliffe G. Edmonds III

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156934

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156934.001.0001

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The World of Ancient Greco­Roman Magic

The World of Ancient Greco­Roman Magic

(p.35) 2 The World of Ancient Greco­Roman Magic
Drawing Down the Moon

Radcliffe G. Edmonds III

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the world of ancient Greco-Roman magic. When approaching the evidence from the ancient Greco-Roman world for ritualized action, one must analyze not only what kind of evidence one is examining but also what sort of action is depicted in the evidence. One must also analyze who is performing it and for whom, where and when it is performed, why it is being performed, and how the performance works. In this study, the chapters are organized primarily by what sort of practice is involved, but the analysis probes each of the other factors as well to determine when a ritualized action may be labeled “magic.” The survey of different varieties within the discourse of magic in the ancient Greco-Roman world provides one with a better sense of the categories and criteria by which the Greeks and Romans evaluated normative and non-normative ritual activity in the ancient world.

Keywords:   Greco-Roman magic, Greco-Roman world, ritualized action, magic, normative ritual activity, non-normative ritual activity

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