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Chapter Two. Magic In The Roman Historians

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Chapter Summary

This chapter dicusses those historians who have something to say about magic and those who do not. The list of those in whom magic goes unmentioned is at least as long as that of those who believe it merits attention. The historians of Rome in whose narrative magic plays a significant part are Tacitus and Dio Cassius; Herodian mentions it on one occasion. Tacitus presents himself as a man concerned to preserve traditional Roman religious practice, convinced that when religious matters are allowed to slide or are completely disregarded, the gods will vent their anger on the Roman people to correct the error. Most of the references to magic in Tacitus' Annals occur in the accounts he gives of trials in which the defendant is charged with actions threatening the well-being of the emperor or his family.

Keywords: magic; Roman historians

10.1163/ej.9789004179042.i-676.23
/content/books/bej.9789004179042.i676_004
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