Magic and the Supernatural in Fourth Century Syria  book cover
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Magic and the Supernatural in Fourth Century Syria





ISBN 9780415392426
Published October 27, 2006 by Routledge
240 Pages

 
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Book Description

Magic and the Supernatural in Fourth Century Syria presents an in-depth investigation of a variety of ‘magical’ practices with a focused study in the late antique Syria and Palestine.

Offering new research using both archaeological and literary sources, and blending Classical, Jewish, and Christian traditions from both regions, Silke Trzcionka examines a myriad of magical activities such as:

  • curses, spells and amulets
  • accusations related to chariot races, love and livelihood
  • methods involved in protection, healing, possession and exorcism.

The information is provided with clarity and theoretical sophistication which enables students to develop an understanding of these beliefs and their place within the social context of the time.

Altogether, a useful, enlightening and enjoyable book which students studying religion and/or social history will find invaluable.

Table of Contents

Introduction   Methodology   Syria and Palestine   Curses for Courses: Heavy Tactics in the Hippodrome   Supernatural Sabotage: Ensuring a Successful Livelihood   Demanding Desire: Rituals of Love and Lust   Apotropaism: Protecting Good fortune   Illness and Healing: Threats and Retaliation in a Discourse of Power   Possession and Expulsion: Experiencing and Dispelling the Daimonic   Ambiguous and Miscellaneous   Conclusions: Ambitions, Desire, Fears and Insecurities

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Reviews

'Without doubt [Silke Trzcionka's] meticulous work is very welcome and a significant contribution to the field of research on (late) antique magic... Very impressive is her skillful narrative account and her fluent style of writing. With her fine and concise observations at hand the readers, no matter if they are specialists in the field, beginning students of (late) antiquity, or just readers interested in the subject matters, are enabled to develop some further insights in some very specific topics that could only be touched in the book. [Trzcionka] must be thanked for having written that fascinating book.' - Bryn Mawr Classical Review

'[a] successful attempt to ignore modern distinctions between magic and religion' - International Review of Biblical Studies