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Magic In Late Antiquity: The Evidence Of Magical Gems

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the main problems related to the so-called magical gems in order to illustrate the contribution that this kind of archaeological material can make to the knowledge of magic and popular beliefs in Late Antiquity. Magical gems reflect a complex ideology, closely linked to ritual activities performed in order to achieve a number of different purposes. Due to the complex problems raised by this kind of archaeological material, the chapter limits the discussion to the analysis of some relevant examples from the available evidence. The magical papyri are a group of texts from Egypt written in Greek from the early Hellenistic period to Late Antiquity. The associations of divine names belonging to different religious traditions in magical evidence is explained in the wider context of a particular kind of syncretism with henotheistic tendencies.

Keywords: magic in late antiquity; magical gems; magical papyri; religious syncretism

10.1163/ej.9789004180000.i-570.94
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004180000.i-570.94
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