Read e-book online Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman PDF

ISBN-10: 0801888972

ISBN-13: 9780801888977

Editor/Contributor note Translated, Annoted & brought by way of Georg good fortune. procedure calls for an editor or author.

Magic, miracles, daemonology, divination, astrology, and alchemy have been the arcana mundi, the "secrets of the universe," of the traditional Greeks and Romans. during this path-breaking selection of Greek and Roman writings on magic and the occult, Georg success offers a accomplished sourcebook and advent to magic because it used to be practiced by way of witches and sorcerers, magi and astrologers, within the Greek and Roman worlds.

In this new edition, success has accrued and translated one hundred thirty historic texts relationship from the 8th century BCE throughout the fourth century CE. completely revised, this quantity bargains numerous new components: a finished common advent, an epilogue discussing the endurance of historical magic into the early Christian and Byzantine eras, and an appendix at the use of mind-altering ingredients in occult practices. additionally extra is an in depth word list of Greek and Latin magical terms.

In Arcana Mundi Georg success provides a fascinating—and now and then startling—alternative imaginative and prescient of the traditional global. "For many years it used to be trendy to disregard the darker and, to us, maybe, uncomfortable facets of daily life in Greece and Rome," success has written. "But we will now not idealize the Greeks with their 'artistic genius' and the Romans with their 'sober realism.' Magic and witchcraft, the terror of daemons and ghosts, the desire to control invisible powers—all of this used to be a great deal part of their lives."

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There are parallels to this in Greco-Roman culture where the figure of the witch is well established and foreigners like the ‘‘Egyptian prophet’’ or the ‘‘Etruscan diviner’’ or the ‘‘Marsian enchanter’’ are fairly common. These practitioners are sometimes seen as tools of the daemons, but one needs them for protection. ≥Ω It was considered an attribute of Re, sometimes represented as an anthropomorphic deity grasping a serpent in each hand. Professional magicians were called ‘‘prophets 13 Arcana Mundi of heka’’ or ‘‘those who know,’’ a kind of euphemism that occurs in other cultures; thus the voodoo term for the bokor, the enchanter, is un qui a connaissance.

In the present context, I would define magic as a technique grounded in a belief in powers located in the human soul and in the universe outside ourselves, a technique that aims at imposing the human will on nature or on human beings by using supersensual powers. Ultimately, it may be a belief in the unlimited powers of the soul. The multitude of powers can, perhaps, be reduced to the notion of power, or mana. The Greek equivalents, found in Hellenistic texts, are dynamis ‘power’, charis ‘grace’, and arete ‘e√ectiveness’.

Scarborough, ‘‘Hermetic and Related Texts,’’ in Hermeticism and the Renaissance, ed. I. Merkel and A. G. Debus (Berlin, 1988), pp. 19–44. The two authors, ‘‘Cyranus’’ and ‘‘Harpocration,’’ clearly believed in the powers of the pagan deities to whom certain stones or birds were sacred. They also give instructions on how to make amulets. A similar text, only preserved in Latin, is the Compendium Aureum. It deals with the role of plants and animals in magic. See A. Delatte, in Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l’Université de Liège 93 (1942).

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Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts (2nd Edition)

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