In this special seven-part series, Marguerite Johnson takes us on a magical mystery tour of magic and witchcraft in ancient Greece and Rome, with a sprinkling of Egyptian occult practices. Each lecture introduces a particular type of magic; is extensively illustrated with archaeological evidence; features excerpts from ancient writing; and includes a fascinating reading list for those interested in pursuing the topics in more detail.
Curse Tablets, Binding Spells and Poppets in Antiquity : March 28th – Lecture I
In this illustrated talk, Professor Marguerite Johnson takes us on a tour of the intriguing and widespread practice of cursing in the ancient Mediterranean. The focus is on curse tablets and binding spells; a discussion of the many examples of curse tablets and binding spells; the uncanny poppets that sometimes accompanied these spells; and a deep dive into the many and varied reasons for employing them. Finally, we ask: Did they work?
For a peak preview of some of the topics we’ll be looking at, read Marguerite Johnson’s ‘Spells, charms, erotic dolls: love magic in the ancient Mediterranean’, The Conversation, June 27, 2018: https://theconversation.com/spells-charms-erotic-dolls-love-magic-in-the-ancient-mediterranean-98459
You may also like Kate Murphy’s ‘Secrets of Ancient Magic’, Expedition Magazine 58.1 (2016): http://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/?p=23548
The Louvre Doll. 4th century CE, clay and bronze. E 27145b. Louvre Museum, Paris.
don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day