Animals as magical ingredients in Greek magical papyri



Year of publication 2016
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description This paper is the result of my research into magic in antiquity at Masaryk University in Brno, particularly into the role of animals in ancient magic. It touches on the subject of difference between magic and religion, but the main focus is mapping every occurence of animal ingredient in Greek magical papyri and, with the help of statictics, showing some interesting results, such as what animal was used the most frequently, which animal part was used the most frequently and if there is any correlation between use of specific animal for specific purpose, or, in the case of healing spells, specific health issue. It also shows how many of the papyri contain animals as magical ingredients in general and how many of them are used as the offering or with another purpose. It also focuses on what the purpose of the spell was most often (Love spell, Dreams, Making of philactery, Health, Harm, Making of magical ink, Invocation or Other). Then the paper tries to answer, what can we tell about the society from the use of magic as we can see it in magical papyri and if the magic described in magical papyri is the same as the magic we know from the ancient literature and classical authors.
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