Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World

Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World

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In the ancient Graeco-Roman world, it was a common practice to curse an enemy or rival by writing an incantation on a tablet and dedicating it to a god or spirit. More than a thousand such texts, written between the fifth century BC and the fifth century AD, have been discovered in places ranging from North Africa to England, and from Syria to Spain. Until now, however, there has been no English translation of these tablets and indeed the texts themselves have remained virtually unknown. This volume makes these fascinating texts available for the first time. A substantial introduction supplies the full cultural, social, and historical context for the texts. The selected translations, arranged thematically, are fully annotated and accompanied by extensive commentary. Reflecting a wide range of social occasions, including lawsuits, love affairs, business competition, and horse-races, the tablets open a window into the hearts and minds of ordinary people, shedding light on a dimension of classical society in which historians today are increasingly more

Product details

  • Hardback | 293 pages
  • 148 x 212 x 24mm | 639.56g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones, line figures
  • 0195062264
  • 9780195062267

Review quote

"There is ample be extremely grateful to Gager and his associates for having provided such a rich and accessible collection of these fascinating and culturally important documents."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review"The material is fascinating, and provides a view of antiquity from an unaccustomed angle....Of immense value to students of the ancient world and of the history of religion."--Times Literary Supplement"Spellbinding."--Christian Century"A thorough and scholarly book, of immense value to students of the ancient world and of the history of religion."--Ancient History"The editor and publisher are to be commended for making an important aspect of ancient popular religion accessible to a wide audience."--Journal of Religionshow more

Rating details

42 ratings
4.19 out of 5 stars
5 36% (15)
4 50% (21)
3 12% (5)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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