Authors: Radcliffe G. Edmonds III
What did magic mean to the people of ancient Greece and Rome? How did Greeks and Romans not only imagine what magic could do, but also use it to try to influence the world around them?
In Drawing Down the Moon, Radcliffe Edmonds, one of the foremost experts on magic, religion, and the occult in the ancient world, provides the most comprehensive account of the varieties of phenomena labeled as magic in classical antiquity, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Exploring why certain practices, images, and ideas were labeled as “magic” and set apart from “normal” kinds of practices, Edmonds gives insight into the shifting ideas of religion and the divine in the ancient past and in the later Western tradition.
Using fresh approaches to the history of religions and the social contexts in which magic was exercised, Edmonds delves into the archaeological record and classical literary traditions to examine images of witches, ghosts, and demons as well as the fantastic powers of metamorphosis and reversals of nature, such as the famous trick of drawing down the moon.