Animals as magical ingredients in Greek magical Papyri : preliminary statistical analysis of animal species

Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2017, vol. 22, iss. 1, pp. 191-206
Extent
191-206
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type
Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
The focus of this study, which is based on a detailed analysis of Greek magical papyri, is to research, how the animal ingredients were used within the sphere of magic in the antiquity and what further information can be drawn. This paper serves as a preliminary review of the results provided by the statistical analysis. Main research questions are: How many papyri spells contain at least one animal ingredient? Which animals were used the most as an ingredient? Which animal body parts were prevalent in papyri spells? Were the animal body parts used in spells chosen based on analogy? Answering these questions can help us understand the connection of animals to magic, and determine if some animals were considered to have more magical power than others. A key source for this study was Betz's edition of The Greek magical papyri from 1986, compared to Preisendanz's Papyri Graecae magicae: Die griechischen Zauberpapyri from 1928.
Document
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