Magic in Pliny the Elder: Clear-cut Concept or No Concept at all?



Year of publication 2008
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Latae Segetes Iterum
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords magic; definition; emic; etic; Pliny the Elder
Description The article tries to ascertain whether emicly constructed categories of magic can be used for refinement of etic categories of magic so far proposed in the modern scholarship. As a test case was chosen Pliny the Elder who wrote about magic in his encyclopedia Naturalis Historia (especially in book 30). After the analysis of his concept of magic it can be shown that his emic category of magic is problematic in the same way as its modern scientific paralels and cannot be used as a universal scientific category.

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