This chapter examines both inter- and intra-religious contact and the interface of objects and bodies in the extant magical record from late antiquity. After providing an introduction to the theoretical and methodological issues involved studying magic, I offer a short survey of the types of materials typically labeled “magical.” I then examine select magical materials that cite Psalm 91:1 (= LXX Ps 90:1). Specifically, I compare a series of metal armbands, in which this text is written in Greek in-between medallions that typically depict scenes from the life of Christ, with select Jewish Babylonian Aramaic incantation bowls and related materials (e.g., rings and pendants) that juxtapose Psalm 91:1 with Deut. 6:4 in an every-other-word pattern. I further highlight an armband, which seems to have been composed by a Jewish practitioner based on Christian exemplars, thus attesting to intercultural contact between Christian and Jewish ritual specialists. I also engage with the relationships between things and human bodies, drawing inspiration from recent work on lived ancient religion and related disciplines. I trace the ways in which these magical objects would have merged human bodies with material artifacts and sacred text, noting both the similarities and the differences of these respective thing-body-text entanglements.

Objects of Protection and destruction: The Material Culture of “Magic” in the Mediterranean

Sanzo, Joseph E.
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Abstract

This chapter examines both inter- and intra-religious contact and the interface of objects and bodies in the extant magical record from late antiquity. After providing an introduction to the theoretical and methodological issues involved studying magic, I offer a short survey of the types of materials typically labeled “magical.” I then examine select magical materials that cite Psalm 91:1 (= LXX Ps 90:1). Specifically, I compare a series of metal armbands, in which this text is written in Greek in-between medallions that typically depict scenes from the life of Christ, with select Jewish Babylonian Aramaic incantation bowls and related materials (e.g., rings and pendants) that juxtapose Psalm 91:1 with Deut. 6:4 in an every-other-word pattern. I further highlight an armband, which seems to have been composed by a Jewish practitioner based on Christian exemplars, thus attesting to intercultural contact between Christian and Jewish ritual specialists. I also engage with the relationships between things and human bodies, drawing inspiration from recent work on lived ancient religion and related disciplines. I trace the ways in which these magical objects would have merged human bodies with material artifacts and sacred text, noting both the similarities and the differences of these respective thing-body-text entanglements.
The Routledge Handbook of the Archaeology of Ancient Mediterranean Religions
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5003035
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