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Module Series
Mixed Lecture/Discussion • Low intensity
This is the Landing Page for Prof. Shawn Gaffney's series exploring Ancient Magic.

Module 1 provides a short survey of the earliest known magical texts and objects, including the Pyramid texts, Sumerian exorcism spells, and objects used in different apotropaic rituals. Divination and other forms of magic will be included as well. What was the earliest magic? What did it do and how did it work? Who practiced magic? How was magic related to religion?

Module 2 looks specifically at the Greco-Roman world, magic in myth and literature, and specific spells and objects in use throughout the classical world, including their relations to Mesopotamia and Egypt. This includes the Greek magical texts. What types of magic did they use? Who practiced them and why?

Module 3 examines the use of magic in the early Christian world, its relationship with contemporary magic, and related texts. This module explores the origins of this magic, how it was used, and how it evolved over time. We will look at both religious and non-religious magic through a number of examples, both verbal spells and magical items, such as Aramaic incantation bowls.

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Note: Students can jump in at any month/part of the Series. There are no prerequisites.

Required Texts

There are no required texts for this series.

If you're interested in this course...

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