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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered: Love Charms and Erotic Curses

Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered: Love Charms and Erotic Curses

(p.91) 4 Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered: Love Charms and Erotic Curses
Drawing Down the Moon

Radcliffe G. Edmonds III

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on erotic magic. While there is no way to judge, from a modern perspective, whether any of this erotic magic “worked,” from the standpoint of cultural history one can nevertheless conclude that erotic magic was a real part of the Greco-Roman world, both in the imagination of its possibilities and in the practices of those seeking extraordinary solutions to the endless problems that can arise in erotic relationships. The evidence, in literature and in epigraphic sources, provides insights into those problems as well as into the ways people thought those problems might be solved. This material is a rich source for the understanding of ancient Greco-Roman sexualities, providing glimpses of the underlying patterns of erotic behavior, both in the fantasies of the ancient Greeks and Romans and in the realities of their relationships. The social location of the performer is particularly interesting in erotic magic, since the literary evidence would suggest that erotic magic is generally associated with the objectively profane: the female, the old, the foreign. In reality, however, both males and females made use of erotic magic.

Keywords:   erotic magic, Greco-Roman world, erotic relationships, sexualities, erotic behavior

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