Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bortolani et al. (eds), Cultural Plurality in Ancient Magical Texts and Practices

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Cultural Plurality in Ancient Magical Texts and Practices. Graeco-Egyptian Handbooks and Related Traditions. Ed. by Ljuba Merlina Bortolani, William Furley, Svenja Nagel, and Joachim Friedrich Quack. 2019. IX, 374 pages. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 32. 129,00 € including VAT. cloth ISBN 978-3-16-156478-9.
Published in English.
A conference held in Heidelberg in 2014 resulted in this collection of essays, which explore the multifaceted aspects of magical texts and practices in antiquity, focusing especially on the Graeco-Egyptian magical papyri. The volume concentrates on questions of cultural plurality and fusion, ranging from earlier Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Greek magico-religious traditions, through the original developments of Graeco-Roman Egypt, up to and including their integration into Jewish and Byzantine magical lore. In particular, phenomena such as simple borrowing, advanced adaptation, complete assimilation or even distortion of origin and meaning stress the importance of disentangling different cultural elements and understanding their interaction. Going beyond the borders of academic fields, this book aims at giving to the transcultural perspective the importance it deserves in the study of ancient magic.

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