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Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion Paperback – February 13, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0195111408 ISBN-10: 9780195111408

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Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion + Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft + Religion and the Decline of Magic (Penguin History)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780195111408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195111408
  • ASIN: 0195111400
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"This excellent and thought-provoking book will be indispensable to all who study Gre k religion. It draws on a wealth of illuminating primary material."--The Classical Review


"To assemble these 10 pieces on various aspects of ancient magic was an excellent idea....To do justice to the wealth of material presented and the intriguing new ideas which emerge one would have to write another book."--The Classical Outlook


About the Author

Christopher A. Faraone is at University of Chicago. Dirk Obbink is at Barnard College.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher R. Travers on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work is a collection of ten essays by different authorities on different elements of classical Greek magic and, in some cases its interaction with official religion. This will probably appeal to two different crowds: the academics and the occultists.

Academically, I think this work is entirely without equal. The essays are incredibly insightful and provide very clear descriptions of how magic fit into Hellenic and Hellenistic cultures. The material is extremely well documented with endnotes which provide not only references but additional points of discussion. This is a book which is simply the most important book on the subject I have ever read.

For magicians, those who follow modern Hermetic, Wiccan, and related traditions will find little or nothing of value in this book. However, those who follow reconstructionist traditions (Runic, Reconstrictionist Celtic, Reconstructionist Greek, etc) will find substantial important material which can be useful either directly or for comparative studies.

Christopher Faraone's essay on agonistic contexts of binding spells is a good example. The essay provides a great deal of insight into the motivations of those who put together the binding spells in the first place. For those trying to reconstruct Greek magical ways of working, this is directly applicable. However, as a Runic magician, I find the material valuable instead for points of comparison that help clarify two separate areas of my tradition (early references to battle fetters and late medieval Scandinavian magical charms for legal success, the aegishjalmr etc).

Highly recommended.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By jweiner@physics.oberlin.edu on July 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
A good introduction to the contemporary study of magic in the classical world. That this book is a collection rather than written by a single author makes it more valuable as it provides a variety of interpritation in an area that is undergoing large scale renovations. Scholarly and a bit dry this book has nothing to do with the usual new age kook authors that make serious research into mystical studies a pain and then some.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WhadaIknow on September 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used this book in my PhD dissertation when it first came out. It is not an introduction to magic or for the casual reader. However, each of the articles are excellent will advance your knowledge and understanding of what magic meant to the ancient Greeks and how they practiced magic. Thoroughly enjoyable and essential to understanding the ancient world.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Ferretti on December 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
this book is excellent for the study of ancient greek cursing. it really helped with with my essay for ancient greek religion. it is also a very interesting read for people generally interested in magic or ancient greece.
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