- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 13, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195111400
- ISBN-13: 978-0195111408
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion
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"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.
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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).