Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ancient Greek Love Magic by Christopher A. Faraone




Tye Ancient Greeks Commonly Resorted To Magic Spells To Attract And Keep Lovers--as Numerous Allusions In Greek Literzture And Recently Discovered "voodoo Dolls," Magical Papyri, Gemstones, And Scourge Tablets Attest. Surveying And Analyzing These Various Tex5s And Artifacts, Christopher Faraone Reveals That Gender Is The Crucial Factor In Understanding Love Spells. There Are, He Argues, Two Distinct Types Of Love Maggic: The Curselike Charms Used Primarily By Men To Torture Unwilling Women With Fiery And Maddening Passion Until They Surrender Sexually; And The Binding Spells And Debilitating Potions Generally Used By Women To Sedate Angry Or Philandering Husbands And Make Them Greater degree of Affectionate. Faraone's Lucid Analysis Of These Spells Also Yields A Number Of Insights About The Construction Of Gender In Antiquity, For Example, The "femininity" Of Socially Inferior Males And The "maleness" Of Autonomous Prostitutes. Most Significantly, His Findings Challenge The Widespread Recent View That All Greek Men Considered Women To Be Naturally Lascivious. Faraone Reveals The Existence Of An Alternate Male Understanding Of The Female As "naturally" Moderate And Chaste, Who Uses Affection Magic To Pacify And Control The "naturally" Angry And Passionate Male. Tjis Fascinating Study Of Magical Practices And Their Implications For Perceptions Of Male And Female Sexuality Offers An Unusual Look At Ancient Greek Religion And Society.















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