This paper publishes a new curse tablet from Aquincum. While the letter-forms are well-preserved, the text requires interpretion through linguistic analysis aided by analogies with other curse tablets and literary sources.
Magical texts represent an inexhaustible source for the phenomena of an ancient language for special purposes. The scope of this paper is limited to the different kinds of word-borrowings in the Pannonian set of curse tablets. One-language, well written and easily readable magical texts can be difficult to understand while explicit and unambigu
...ous wording is expected in such practical genre like curses which level at definite persons. Harmful curse tablets and protective amulets, however, can be obscure. This study aims to give a comprehensive account of the possible reasons why these texts have a cloudy style, with special outlook of parallel phrases in Greek pieces of evidence.
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.
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.