Animal Magic

Daniel Ogden

in The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life

Published in print August 2014 | ISBN: 9780199589425
Published online November 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Animal Magic

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This chapter examines the role of animals in magic in antiquity. It considers the four main ways by which the world of animals intersected with the world of magic in antiquity. These include the deployment of magic by animals against man, the deployment of magic against animals and the transformation of humans into animals. This chapter discusses two ancient parodies of the culture of animal-part magic and describes three ways in which animals were used in magic that were not specific to their own natures or to the powers of their constituent parts. It also analyses the culture of animal-deployment in magic in ancient Rome and Greece as described in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History.

Keywords: animals in magic; antiquity; animal-part magic; parodies; animal-deployment; Pliny the Elder; Natural History; ancient Greece; ancient Rome

Article.  8229 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Marriage and the Family

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