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Appendix A

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Chapter Summary

This appendix contains a letter written by Professor Morton Smith about a project, which describes the archeological material available for a history of Greco-Roman magic. The need for such a history has been brought by a number of recent studies of religions cognate to early Christianity and particularly by Scholem's demonstration that a technique producing the experience of ascent through the heavens was common to rabbinic Judaism, gnosticism and pagan magic, and was derived from a pre-Christian source. In this research Smith have often been balked by the uncertainly of the history of ancient magic. The large magical papyri are mostly of the fourth century A.D. and since magic was both traditional and syncretistic they offer no assurance as to the date or provenance of their contents.

Keywords: Gershom Scholem; Jewish mysticism; Professor Morton Smith



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