Astral Magic in Babylonia

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American Philosophical Society, 1995 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 150 pages
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Erica Reiner offers a connection between Near Eastern material and their echoes in the West. a foundation for comparisons between the oriental cultures and gtheir echoes in the West. To provide a foundation for comparisons the Near Eastern material needs to be resented in reliable form. Reiner's sources are culled from such scientific texts as medicine, divination, and rituals, which are not usually included in anthologies of Mesopotamian texts and rarely available in translation..


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A tour de force of magical lore in Babylonia that is at once scholarly and readable.

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Page 87 - Rowe from the early 18th century. 421 ... illic et sidera primum praecipiti deducta polo Phoebeque serena non aliter diris verborum obsessa venenis palluit et nigris terrenisque ignibus arsit, quam si fraterna prohiberet imagine tellus insereretque suas flammis caelestibus umbras, et patitur tantos cantu depressa labores, donec suppositas propior despumet in herbas.
Page 83 - The signs on earth just as those in the sky give us signals. Sky and earth both produce portents; though appearing separately, they are not separate (because) sky and earth are related.
Page 87 - Tlieir art can t urni«!i , aud their power makes true The pregnant fields a horrid crop produce, Noxious, and fit for witchcraft's deadly use: With baleful weeds each mountain's brow is hung, And listening rocks attend the charmer's song. There, potent and mysterious plants arise, Plants that compel the gods, and awe the skies; There, leaves unfolded to Medea's view, Such as her native Colchos never knew. Soon as the dread Ha>monian voice ascends, Through the whole vast expanse, each power at»...
Page 39 - Asklepios ; 3 for then it is said that one should put in the ground in its place an offering made of all kinds of fruits and a cake ; and that, when one is cutting gladwyn/ one should put in its place to pay for it cakes of meal from spring-sown wheat,5 and that one should cut it with a two-edged sword, first making a circle round it three times,6 and that the piece first cut must be held up in the air while the rest is being cut.
Page 87 - Or is there one determined god'2 their slave? One, whose command obedient nature awes, Who, subject still himself to magic laws, Acts only as a servile second cause? Magic the starry lamps from heaven can tear, And shoot them gleaming through the dusky air; Can blot fair Cynthia's countenance serene, And poison with foul spells the silver queen. Now pale the ghastly goddess shrinks with dread, And now black smoky fires involve her head; As when earth's envious interposing shade Cuts off her beamy...
Page 57 - K. van der Toorn, Sin and Sanction in Israel and Mesopotamia. A Comparative Study* 23 JP Fokkelman, Narrative Art and Poetry in the Books of Samuel.
Page 39 - That one should be bidden to pray while cutting is not perhaps unreasonable, but the additions made to this injunction are absurd ; for instance as to cutting the kind of all-heal which is called...
Page 34 - ... curiosity of the masses they [ie, the scribes] inscribed the names of the herbs and other things which they employed on the statues of the gods, so that they [ie, the masses], since they do not take precaution, might not practice magic, [being prevented] by the consequence of their misunderstanding. But we have collected the explanations [of these names] from many copies [of the sacred writings], all of them secret...
Page 108 - Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1927), vol.
Page 85 - Petty are the evils," she cries, "and cheap is the weapon which 1 Admetus. 2 Aloestia. * Jason. ' ie the sun and moon. et vile telum est, ima quod tellus creat ; caelo petam venena. iam iam tempus est aliquid movere fraude vulgari altius. hue ille vasti more torrentis iacens descendat anguis, cuius immensos duae, maior minorque, sentiunt nodos ferae (maior Pelasgis apta, Sidoniis minor) pressasque tandem solvat Ophiuchus manus virusque fundat ; ad sit ad cantus meos lacessere ausus gemina Python...

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