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Escribiendo una defixio: los textos de maldición a través de sus soportes
Published August 1, 2020

The aim of this paper is to analyze binding curse tablets found in the Latin West from a material perspective, in order to rethink their multifaceted nature, since sometimes – but not always – defixiones are inscribed pieces of lead.

Epigrafía pública y defixiones: paradigmas (y paradojas) del Occidente Latino
Published July 8, 2020

This paper falls into two main sections. The first deals with the defixio and its traditional definition as an example of so-called private inscriptions. Unlike public epigraphs, which were monumental, crafted by professionals, intended for display, and had (mainly) a commemorative function, defixiones (whether written by ...magoi or amateurs) are usually considered to be among Antiquity’s most private texts. Nevertheless, curse tablets and public inscriptions share a very important feature: both contained messages meant to endure. This specific feature brings us to the second section of this article, which discusses the influence of public inscriptions on curse tablets: to what extent are defixiones a reflection of monumental epigraphy? Aspects such as the ordinatio of the text, the media employed or the way they were displayed (even inside a tomb) are analyzed in this regard. In an attempt to answer these questions, three publicly displayed curse tablets are discussed in depth.

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Sequences of charakteres in some circus defixiones in Latin from Hadrumetum
Published August 1, 2020

A peculiar feature of a series of curse tablets from Hadrumetum, published by Audollent in his Defixionum tabellae (1904) and in a further study dated 1906, is that they contain four recurring sequences of magical charakteres. One of the sequences occurs on a single tablet, another on three tablets, the third in five, and the ...fourth is found 34 times on ten tablets. In each case the context is a curse against chariot-teams, i.e. charioteers and horses. Since the names of some charioteers show up on nearly all the tablets in the group, we may assume that the series was written over a relatively brief number of years. This inference is supported by the fact that the appearance and physical size of the tablets differ considerably. From these data we can conclude that there was a circle of magicians, using the same handbook and specialising in chariotracing, who invented the recurring sequences of charakteres, though – as far as we know – their innovation was not adopted in other regions.

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