Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

The magical traditions of ancient Greece encompassed spells, curse tablets, drugs, potions, poisons, amulets, and talismans. For many cultures of the past, there was a very fine line between magic, superstition, religion, and science. The ancient magicians were seen as symbols of wisdom, keepers of secrets, and masters of the arts, mathematics and science, particularly chemistry. Because magicians were believed to be individuals with access to supernatural powers, they were both feared and respected.

Spells and incantations had been used by the Egyptians for thousands of years and the Greeks carried this tradition forward, as evidenced by surviving Greek papyri containing magic records that date back to the 4th and 3rd century BC.

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2 thoughts on “Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

  1. Growing up in a conventional Greek family, for many years I thought the Hellenian’s were very much removed from their ancient roots.
    As a student of Ancient Greek History I then began to realise earlier in my life that this was NOT the case. The reality was that it was merely masked under Christianity.
    Churches built on once anciet temples, prayers re-structured to portray and venerate saints rather than Gods, The Goddess Athena is now St Athens., and the list goes on ……
    I still love going to Greek Church service. I see and hear the ancient Pantheon everywhere, in every brush stroke and every hymn. Churches spruced with icinograohy that to the trained eye reveals ancient pre- Christisn symbols. Chanting, ritual and wofts of the most beautiful frankincense, it all transports me back to the ancient temples that once adorned those ancient lands.
    My patents always believed that as a Greek it was our rite of passage to be educated about our ancient roots. Little did they know they were pruning me for a life of devotion to the Pantheon.

    Thank you for this wonderful article dear Lady Beltane.

    Priestess Hypatia

    Liked by 1 person

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