For the usual synchronic treatment, see, e. The book is a veritable encyclopedia of fascinating magical recipes, and boasts many well-researched variations on agoge and philia charms. Christian philosopher Sextus Julius Africanus wrote in a similar vein an eclectic work called Kestoi in twenty-four books, a miscellany of magical and medical recipes and observations. There were also particular shapes which were viewed as auspicious to carry around in miniature form: a phallus, eye, vulva, knots, scarab, and a small hand making an obscene gesture. For the natural salaciousness of the iunx bird and the kigklos bird, see Tavenner 1933 110—111, Thompson 1936 124—128, and Capponi 1981 295—296, who quote and discuss all the relevant passages in the natural historians and the scholia to Pindar and Theocritus.
The book is a veritable encyclopedia of fascinating magical recipes, and boasts many well-researched variations on agoge and philia charms. Faraone, an established expert on ancient magic and ritual, examines the evidence for the two most-widely practiced types of love magic: agoge spells, which lasso even the most ornery of love-objects and philia spells, which prevent your significant other from searching for greener pastures elsewhere. In fact these comparisons are not as outrageous as they would have seemed as recently as two decades ago, before mounting archaeological and linguistic evidence forced classical scholars to admit the existence of close and continual cultural contacts between the Near East and Greece, beginning in the Bronze Age and reaching a zenith in the eighth century, the so-called Greek Renaissance, when numerous eastern technological innovations—for example, the construction of monumental temples and the use of the alphabet—begin to sweep westward into the more rudimentary Greek city-states. The second has to do with the idea of woven and knotted charms that women might use to restrain male anger and manliness. The modern separation of magic, superstition, , , and astrology was not so clear in the ancient world.
See Abel 1881 and Halleux and Schamp 1985 for the Lithica and for the present Kaimakis 1976 and Waegeman 1987 for the Cyranides. The cautious reader may hesitate again at the points in this study where I use Neo-Assyrian cuneiform recipes dating between 1000 and 800 b. Thus, words contain a primal substance and the act of speaking mirrors original creation. McCall 1972 , Gellie 1972 55, Hester 1980 8, and March 1987 67. The focus of the Arbatel is on nature, and the natural relationships between humanity and a celestial hierarchy. The text is composed of both magic and astrology.
An ancient Greek spell tells you to drown a scarab in milk for four days, then pull it out and cut it in half. From Aphrodite to the Restless Dead: A Brief History of the Agoge Spell. This passage nonetheless gives us a rare view of popular fourth-century Greek beliefs about the charismatic power of herbal essences and myrrh. See Graf 1995 37 and 1997b 93 with 265 n. See West 1965 199—200 for discussion. Thus, modern readers are rather startled by the image of a god physically attacking the lovesick. These would be worn around the wrists or neck, for example, as it was hoped wearing them might guarantee sufficient rainfall that season.
For the use of mandrake as aphrodisiac in antiquity, see Randolph 1905 501—504. Faraone delivers the goods, focusing principally on interpersonal aphrodisiac magic: though he does touch briefly on self-help potency spells, he is more interested in those directed against another unconsenting individual. Faraone 1991a 17—20 and Graf 1991 194. Winkler 1991 139—140 and 205—207. May her eyelids never be closely joined with each other, but rather let her be worn out over her wakeful thoughts about me. Some Final Thoughts on History, Gender, and Desire.
See Gleason 1995 7—8 for this translation and a detailed discussion. License Submitted by , published on 26 July 2016 under the following license:. Cuneiform tablets preserving rituals of erotic magic have been uncovered at Tell Inghara and Isin present day Iraq. The summoning of gods and goddesses Gods and goddesses were regularly summoned in magic. See Faraone 1992c 114—117 and below in section 4.
On the fifth day of the month the sun will turn black outline desired outcome. Deianeira spells this out clearly to Hyllus very early in the play when she warns that their safety depends on Heracles 83—85. Women were powerless and used any means necessary to keep their husbands around, since men were free to leave their wives whenever they wanted. De tribus carminibus papyri parisinae magicae. This pattern of adoptive families of courtesans is apparently a well-known Mediterranean phenomenon; see Chapter 4, note 80. The Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village.
Thus it is not at all surprising that love spells directed against another, unwilling person are the most-discussed forms of erotic magic in ancient Greece and form the central topic of my book. This phenomenon itself has, however, much to teach us, for it suggests that these later spells may have been purposely shaped by the professional magicians and scribes in late Roman Egypt to appeal to the widest range of ethnic expectations not only Greek and Egyptian, but also Semitic , and that the more popular spells are those that could be quickly understood as a natural extension of more than one national tradition. So, to be fair, they had it coming. So Winkler 1991 224—228, who posits a general theory of psychological transference for these spells; see some counterarguments in section 2. Suetonius Caligula 50 and De poetis 16 Rostagni.
Women used the spells as aphrodisiacs. The extant agÃgÁ spells, however, seem closer in many ways to the mythic stories of delayed and eventually violent transition for example, the daughters of Proetus and to the equally violent form of marriage known as bridal theft. One of the things that I think is interesting about the erotic spells is that I was arguing against a very powerful and influential thesis put forth by my thesis advisor from graduate school, Jack Winkler. This explanation is later ousted by the idea that the god actually enters the person and takes possession of them; see Smith 1966 405—413, esp. In some versions, moreover, their punishment is explicitly eroticized: they are struck with lewdness machlosune , and they run through the woods in various stages of suggestive undress.
Indeed, as more and more magical texts are deciphered and published, we have begun to realize how stereotyped such expressions are, and we are able to see that many have been copied from handbooks, often with very few changes over the centuries—except, of course, the names of the victim and the practitioner. To begin with, there are some obvious exceptions in the literary renditions. For discussion, see Röscher s. Surveying and analyzing these various texts and artifacts, Christopher Faraone reveals that gender is the crucial factor in understanding love spells. O Lady Cyprogeneia, bring to perfection this perfect incantation.