VAKALOUDI ANASTASIA 

THE EVOLUTION OF MAGIC FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CENTURIES

<KEDROS Publications, thens  2001>

ISBN 960-04-1749-0 

SUMMARY

Magic is a historical phenomenon with a very vivid presence in all ages. A survey of the evolutionary course of this phenomenon from the Ancient Greece to the Hellenistic Age then to the Roman Era and finally to the Early Christian Age, proves the development and the variety of it in every era.

The evolution of magic is due to the desire of the humans to control the forces which rule nature and life. The arts that constitute the branches of magic are placed among two general categories. Those which aim at fighting the harmful effects of the evil spirits and therefore they have good intentions, are defined by the term "white magic". On the contrary, those who aim at manipulating the evil spirits and causing damage, sicknesses, misfortune, catastrophe and death, are known by the term "black magic" or " (goeteia)".

The basis of magic is always the doctrine of the "cosmic sympathy" which means "action and reaction in the universe". All the creations are related with a common bond and the effect on something has consequences to its corresponding element, as far as it can be. Magic relies on this argument in order to gain the control of things, situations and humans.

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