1st Edition

Magic in the Roman World Pagans, Jews and Christians

By Naomi Janowitz Copyright 2001
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Using in-depth examples of 'magical' practice such as exorcisms, love rites, alchemy and the transformation of humans into divine beings, this lively volume demonstrates that the word 'magic' was used widely in late antique texts as part of polemics against enemies and sometimes merely as a term for other people's rituals. Naomi Janowitz shows that 'magical' activities were integral to late antique religious practice, and that they must be understood from the perspective of those who employed them.

    Introduction; Chapter 1 Greco-Roman, Christian and Jewish Concepts of “Magic”; Chapter 2 Daimons and Angels and the World of Exorcism; Chapter 3 Ancient Rites for Gaining Lovers; Chapter 4 Using Natural Forces for Divine Goals; Chapter 5 Divine Power, Human Hands; Chapter 6 “Even the Decent Women Practice Witchcraft”; Chapter 7 Concluding Note;


    Naomi Janowitz is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California-Davis. She is the author of Poetics of Ascent (1989) and numerous articles on the religions of late antiquity.

    'This is an entertaining and scholarly introduction to magical beliefs and practices in the early centuries of the Christian era ... This book will be required reading for students and researchers of ancient magic.' - R.J.Clare University of Leeds

    '[Janowitz's] book will help serve as an introduction to the fascinating study of ancient magic for the non-specialist ...' - Journal of Roman Studies