Traditions of Magic in Late Antiquity


The origins of this exhibition lie in my wish to present to students in my survey course, Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World (Winter, 1996), some of the instruments of late antique magic in the University of Michigan's extensive collections. In preparing the exhibition, however, I had not only my students' needs in mind, but also those of any non-specialist who would find ancient magical practices intriguing and would want to know more about them.

In the course of my work on the exhibition and the catalogue I have incurred many debts. My deepest gratitude goes to Robin Meador-Woodruff, at the Kelsey Museum, without whose constant help and support in matters big and small this exhibition would not have been possible. I am also much indebted to James Fox, of the Special Collections Library, for his support and sound advice at every stage of the way, and to Traianos Gagos for his unstinting help in papyrological matters. I would also like to thank Shannon Zachary and Leyla Lau-Lamb who mounted the papyri, Nathan Garcia, Bill Wood, and Fred Anderegg, who painstakingly photographed the Kelsey Museum artifacts, Paul Jaronski, who photographed the papyri, and Veronica Woolridge and Caroline Duroselle-Melish who helped prepare the catalogue and mount the exhibition. Thanks are also owed to Sherry Piontek and Christina Powell for preparing the catalog and images as this WWW exhibit, as well as the Collaboratory for the Humanities for its financial and technical support. Paul Mirec ki, Joseph Naveh, Robert Ritner, Timothy La Vallee, and especially Terry Wilfong, have rendered me much useful advice in the preparation of this catalogue. While they have saved me from many pitfalls, whatever errors may remain are entirely my own.

Gideon Bohak
The Michigan Society of Fellows and Department of Classical Studies
December 1995

Recipe-Books | Amulets and Gems | Babylonian Demon Bowls | Aggressive Magic
Introduction | Acknowledgements | Abbreviations | Further Reading