The Curae herbarum is a late antique medical recipe book made up of 64 chapters; it is mostly based on a Latin translation of the De materia medica by Dioscorides. Chapters 1–32 always end with a precatio to the plant so that it ‘comes with all its healing powers’. The article argues for an erudit
...e origin for the precationes of the Curae herbarum, which borrow epithets, phraseology, and verbs of entreaty from the Precatio Terrae and the Precatio omnium herbarum. Moreover, the study of internal references in the precationes demonstrates that they were written with the intention of being placed before the medical recipes, but, for unknown reasons, were instead copied at the end of the chapters without ever occupying the place they were intended for.
In the Ancient World illness was thought to be the effect not of accidental or natural causes, but rather the result of a negative agency, an external attack on the victim’s body. This paper focuses on the diverse strategies used in healing magic attested in the material and textual records from the ancient Near East to Late Antiquity, with s
...pecial attention paid to how the cultural status of objects and substances was changed through ritual, a process that, along with the invocations of demons and gods, allowed objects to acquire agency to counterattack the harm inflicted on the victim’s body.