Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts

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Georg Luck
JHU Press, Apr 3, 2006 - History - 544 pages
5 Reviews

Magic, miracles, daemonology, divination, astrology, and alchemy were the arcana mundi, the "secrets of the universe," of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In this path-breaking collection of Greek and Roman writings on magic and the occult, Georg Luck provides a comprehensive sourcebook and introduction to magic as it was practiced by witches and sorcerers, magi and astrologers, in the Greek and Roman worlds.

In this new edition, Luck has gathered and translated 130 ancient texts dating from the eighth century BCE through the fourth century CE. Thoroughly revised, this volume offers several new elements: a comprehensive general introduction, an epilogue discussing the persistence of ancient magic into the early Christian and Byzantine eras, and an appendix on the use of mind-altering substances in occult practices. Also added is an extensive glossary of Greek and Latin magical terms.

In Arcana Mundi Georg Luck presents a fascinating—and at times startling—alternative vision of the ancient world. "For a long time it was fashionable to ignore the darker and, to us, perhaps, uncomfortable aspects of everyday life in Greece and Rome," Luck has written. "But we can no longer idealize the Greeks with their 'artistic genius' and the Romans with their 'sober realism.' Magic and witchcraft, the fear of daemons and ghosts, the wish to manipulate invisible powers—all of this was very much a part of their lives."

  

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Review: Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts

User Review  - Phae - Goodreads

A classic, very enjoyable Read full review

Review: Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts

User Review  - Aglaya Moroz - Goodreads

Reading for my research. Absolutely fascinating texts. Get your hands on it! Read full review

Contents

Introduction
33
Texts
93
MIRACLES
145
Introduction
177
Texts
185
DAEMONOLOGY
207
DIVINATION
247
Introduction
285
ASTROLOGY
355
Introduction
371
Texts
389
Psychoactive Substances
479
Select Bibliography
519
Index of Ancient Sources
529
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Georg Luck is professor emeritus in the Department of Classics at the Johns Hopkins University. He has served as editor of American Journal of Philology and is the author of The Latin Love Elegy (Methuen, 1969) and others.

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