Magic in the Ancient World - 1

Chapter 2 – Naming the Sorcerer

For the most part, as I mentioned chapter 1 reads like stereo instructions.  I had a hard time following the sentence structure and felt lost for the most part.

As chapter 2 started, I felt a bit more in line with the writer.  The author, Fritz Graf starts out chapter 2 with a definition.  He states that a Magos or Magus is a priest or religious specialist.  He goes on to refer to various historical texts that use the words Magos/Magus/Magi as well as the word Magic or Magia/Mageia
Magi are referred to as everything from “Experts in the Gods” to “Men on the fringes of Society”.  At one point in the chapter in a reference to Plato’s Republic they are referred to as men who “Will harm good men or bad for a price.” And as “Charlatans” who trained in the art of deception and have power based on illusion.

Looking at the changes in the term, we can see that either training in the fields of science increased or revile for those that spoke of the gods occurred. 

Going into this book I had a set idea of what magic is and what a magus is.  I had heard the term Magi and was familiar with the Jesus birth and how gifts were presented to the Christ child by the Magi.  It was not until today that I learned that basically Magi means, a priest of ancient Persia.  To me, magic is an energy that is available for all to access.  Priest, sorcerer or not.  Just as the word pagan changed from yokel to heathen, I believe the same thing appeared to happen to words related to magic.

I've just started on page 36 of the book, subtitled – The Roman World.  Looking forward to see what’s in store.

As they say, when in Rome.


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