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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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Magic Symbols (Charaktêres) on North African Curse Tablets as a Regional Feature
Published October 10, 2021

This study examines the practice of magic symbols in North Africa to find out whether there was a regional peculiarity in the use of charaktêres that distinguished this area from other parts of the Roman Empire. Two phenomena appear to be more common in North Africa, though they may also occur elsewhere: first, charaktêres as encrypted names,... and second, charaktêres as framing devices. First and foremost, though, some introductory remarks concerning charaktêres in general are made.

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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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Parallel Phrases and Interaction in Greek and Latin Magical Texts.: The Pannonian Set of Curse Tablets
Published September 1, 2020

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.

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Ito Pater, Eracura and the Messenger: A Preliminary Report on a Curse Tablet from Aquincum
Published July 8, 2020

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.

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.

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