With 1 ratings
By: Naomi Janowitz
Purchased At: $135.00 (9 used & new offers)
Using in-depth examples of 'magical' practice such as exorcisms, love rites, alchemy and the transformation of humans into divine beings, this lively volume demonstrates that the word 'magic' was used widely in late antique texts as part of polemics against enemies and sometimes merely as a term for other people's rituals. Naomi Janowitz shows that 'magical' activities were integral to late antique religious practice, and that they must be understood from the perspective of those who employed them.
Fascinating, unusual window into the ancient world where Judaism, Roman paganism and a myriad of forgotten belief systems converge to result in Magic, as they knew it. Highly recommended for it's intimate look into an age gone by, and for the view it gives us of how our present beliefs were evolved. Quite scholarly and technical, not an "easy read". That's why I held back on the one star.