Magic in the Ancient World

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.7 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

Fritz Graf is Distinguished University Professor and Director of Epigraphy at Ohio State University. He has published widely on Greek mythology, local cults in ancient Asia Minor, eschatological texts from Greek graves, and ancient magic.


A very good book, full of insights.--David Graeber "The Nation "
[Graf's] combination of scholarly knowledge, caution and a willingness to test the boundaries of his arguments (this third is rarely combined with the first two) makes this the most successful general introduction to the problems and scope of Greco-Roman magical practices...He provides much intelligent solidity where the subject has often prompted an over-sympathetic obsessiveness and wildness.--Simon Goldhill "London Review of Books "
Fritz Graf's imaginative contributions to the study of myth and ritual are deservedly well known; in this work, Graf brings his own scholarship, and that of participants in a series of bear on the hitherto rather neglected field of magic in antiquity. The result is an accessible, clear and well-annotated guide to the complex world of the ancient magician, which serves both as a valuable introduction to the field and as an invaluable resource for further research and debate.--Michael Lambert "Scholia Reviews "
[Fritz Graf] draws upon a wide range of evidence, including papyri recipes, curse tablets, 'voodoo dolls, ' trials of alleged magicians, and observations made by ancient authors, to reconsider, as a 'historian of religion, ' the changing forms and functions of magic in Greece and Rome. Clearly written, scholarly, and at times stimulatingly controversial, the book should appeal to a variety of readers, from those approaching the subject for the first time to experts in the field.--Hugh Parry "Phoenix "
Fritz well known for his work on Greek religion. His book on magic in the ancient world...contains a great deal of very interesting material, ably discussed; it is a substantial and controversial contribution to the study of a fascinating and controversial subject.--Jasper Griffin "New York Review of Books "
A comprehensive and fascinating introduction to ancient magic. It gives direct access to the sources but selects the important, characteristic examples. The author is well versed in the scholarly literature and in modern theories and presents a vivid and original account.--Walter Burkert
This will be a very helpful introduction to the subject.--Society for Old Testament Study