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Advanced Feats: Might of the Magus is more than just a list of feats. It analyzes the configured to wield a blade and cast spells, the magus is designed from the . might rule the signs, triplicities, decans, quinaries, degrees and stars; for although the school of Peripatetics assign one only intelligence to each of the orbs of. BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The Magus is broken down into two physical volumes. . science, such as a man might profit by, and become both wise and happy; and .

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Secondly, the skills associated with this word-group are effectively limited to two areas: divination on the one hand and expertise with spirits of the dead on the other.

Only Quintilian suggests another association, when he illustrates the issue of definition with the question of whether carmina magorum can be considered veneficium. Libo Drusus, for example, is accused of having resorted to the promises of Chaldaeans, the rites of magi, and the interpreters of dreams Ann. Elsewhere, he describes Zoroaster as the inventor of the artes magicae 1. The most intriguing passage comes in his account of Joseph, who became in Egypt an expert in the magicae artes, by which he means specifically the interpretation of omens and dreams Ille adhibito mago incantavit sepulcrum.

Mater desiit videre filium; accusat maritum malae tractionis. In the two remaining instances 6.

It is worth noting, however, that in contexts where the issue is explicitly one of veneficia and devotiones the death of Germanicus and the trial of Piso at Ann. First, as I noted in the previous section, the adjective is relatively rare in prose, and when it does appear its derivation from the noun magus is clearly and immediate: it in effect functions as the equivalent of magorum.

Sec- ondly, down to the second half of the first century CE, the word-group refers exclusively to the Persian ritual specialists and their traditional areas of expertise, notably divination. Thirdly, in Pliny the Elder we see a strikingly different tradition, which represented the Persian magi as authorities in the arcane properties of plants, animal substances, and stones; in his general discussion of magice, Pliny also reveals a tendency to link the word-group with a much wider range of tradi- tions, including well known scenes from literature.

Lastly, although prose writers of the late first and early second centuries no longer use the word-group with specific reference to Persia, they do for the most part associate it with techniques such as divination in which the Per- sian magi were traditionally thought to be expert.

Poetry In poetry, the first appearance of this word-group is precisely in line with what we initially find in prose. After Catullus, however, the usage of poets and prose authors diverges radically.

Not only do poets show a strong preference for the adjective magicus over the noun magus, but they tend to use both words with a range of connotations that differs significantly from what we find in prose texts.

Numantina at 4.

The word appears twice in his works: in the eighth Eclogue 8. Although in both cases the primary reference of the word is to love charms, Vergil elaborates on its connotations through a plethora of allusions.

Similarly, with venena he links the power to transform oneself into a wolf, to summon shades from the grave, and to move crops from one field to another.

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It is also worth noting that magicus here has no overt or even implicit connection with Persia: the magi as Persian ritual specialists are one of the few motifs that he does not invoke. In short, in this passage of the Eclogues Vergil brings together a wide range of literary traditions and folk beliefs that have to do with the marvellous, and presents them as different ele- ments within a single general category that he denotes with the adjec- tive magicus.

This usage is fundamentally different from what we find in contemporary prose. In one of his Odes, for example, he presents a magus working with Thessalian ven- ena as someone who, along with a saga, might free a lovesick lad from his passion Carm. In his epistles, he praises the power of the poet to fill his audience with false terrors, ut magus Epist. Again, instead of reference to the ethnographic tra- ditions about Persian magi, we find associations with folk beliefs and literary commonplaces about witches.

It is interesting, however, that Horace never makes use of this word-group in his treatments of the witch Canidia and her cronies, because it is precisely in stereotyped descriptions of witches that later poets most commonly employ the magus and its cognates in classical latin 69 adjective magicus. Tibullus uses the adjective magicus three times in this description: of the aid that the saga gave him 42, magicum ministerium , the shriek with which she rouses the spirits of the dead 47, magicus stridor , and the gods to whom she slaughters victims 62, magici di.

There is no need to look in detail at the use of the word in later poetry, since this would only reveal variations on the general pattern that I have already sketched out.

Latin poets consistently use the adjec- tive magicus to characterise rituals, herbs, and especially chants that bring about some alteration in the natural world, and they typically employ it in descriptions of witches, especially famous mythic figures like Circe and Medea.

Grattius, for example, describes old fashioned amulets used to protect hunting dogs as herbae aided by magici cantus Cyneg. The noun magus, in contrast, continues to be very rare in poetry. Apart from a doubtful example in Ciris, Ovid is the only poet between Horace and Lucan to use it, and he does so with precisely the same connotations as the adjective magicus; indeed, he employs the 43 There are extended accounts of Canidia in Epod.

Artes magicae: Vergil, Aen. Although his use of the adjective magicus does not differ significantly from that of other poets, he employs the noun magus more frequently: six times in the Bellum Civile.

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To a certain extent, he seems to follow Horace and Ovid in using the noun with the same connotations that had become traditional for the adjective magicus. But in one passage he quite explicitly uses the word magus to mean a Per- sian functionary: when Pompey sends Deiotarus to ask aid of Arsaces after the battle of Pharsalus, he refers to a treaty that had been ratified by the magi 8.

This association is even more explicit in other passages, where he sets up the Persian magi as in some sense the com- petitors of Thessalian witches: not only does Erichtho use words that are unknown to the magi and their gods 6. In this last passage it is also worth noting the apparent attribution of magi to Egypt as well as to Persia. Although we might analyse this simply as an example of zeugma, Lucan similarly associates magi with Egypt in an earlier passage, where he speaks of Egyptian hieroglyphics that preserve magicae linguae 3.

Apart from Lucan, the use of this word-group in Latin poetry remains remarkably consistent from Vergil through Juvenal, both in the general preference for the adjective over the noun and in the range of connotations that the words normally carry.

What is surprising in all this, and worthy of comment, is the extent to which this usage dif- fers from what we find in prose texts. Tarrant in OCT ]. The other instance occurs in the following line: quaeque magos, Tellus, pollentibus instruis herbis. The Meaning of Magus and its Cognates Having completed this survey of magus and its cognates in Latin prose and poetry, I now turn to some of the general issues that arise from it.

First of all, what accounts for the very different patterns of usage in prose and poetry? It is not possible to give a simple and definite answer to this question.

It is clear enough that the initial use of the noun magus derives from Greek antecedents, especially ethnographic, historical, and philosophical texts. But we cannot with any confidence say the same about the use of the adjective magicus in poetry. But neither Apollonius nor Theocritus employ the adjective magikos or any other cognate of magos in these passages.

Since our knowledge of Hellenistic Greek poetry is so limited, it may be that the use of these words in similar contexts was a well established practice that simply happens not to be represented in the surviving texts.

The fact that Horace does not make use of this word-group in his earlier poetry, even in places where we might expect it, but only in his poetry of the 20s and 10s, might indicate that he adopted it only after his friend had set the example; certainly the practice of the elegists and later poets can be explained on the basis of the Vergilian precedent.

Whatever the reason, however, the Latin adjective magicus quickly became dissociated from any particular reference to Persian ritual spe- cialists, and acquired instead a more flexible and evocative semantic range. The noun magus, by contrast, remained largely restricted to its original technical meaning. It was perhaps for this reason that poets made much greater use of the adjective, and employed the noun only occasionally as a derivative, so to speak, of the adjective.

Lucan reintroduces into poetry the technical meaning of the noun magus and associates it with the well-established connotations of the adjective magicus; as a result, in Lucan we find for the first time Persian magi presented as exponents of the magicae artes. Not much later, the elder Pliny associates the noun with a body of lore that had not been linked to it before: exper- tise in the arcane powers of plants, animal substances, and stones. But this sort of expertise, we should note, had long been associated with the adjective magicus in poetry.

The full range of connotations that this word-group could have for Pliny becomes star- tlingly explicit in his general discussion of magice at the start of Book 30, which encompasses everything from the teachings of Zoroaster to human sacrifice in Gaul.

Lastly, we find that prose writers of the early second century no longer restrict the noun magus to the Persian ritual specialists; instead both Quintilian and his anonymous follower and Tacitus seem to use it to refer to free-lance specialists operating in Italy. It is interesting to note that in his other works we still find the old distinction between the noun magus on the one hand and its cognates on the other. Other sources vary in the terms they use to describe those affected by the decree: Suetonius Tib.

See further L. Desanti, Sileat omnibus perpetuo divinandi curi- ositas: Indovini e sanzioni nel diritto romano Milan 33— In the Meta- morphoses, by contrast, he uses magicus nine times 1. He there- fore tried to use Pontianus to dissuade Pudentilla from marrying Apu- leius; when this brought a sharp retort from Pudentilla, he attacked her as a slut and Apuleius as a magus et veneficus Apol.

On the tension between two modes of magic in the Met. One possibility is that they are not in fact significant at all but merely reflect the accidents of survival: if we had a broader or even different selection of evidence, we might see completely different patterns. It is naturally impossible to rule this out, but in my view the overall patterns are strong enough that they cannot be entirely accidental.

Nevertheless, since the evi- dence derives almost entirely from highly sophisticated literary texts, we may wonder about its relation to the usages of everyday life. Two very different scenarios may be imagined. On the one hand, it is pos- sible that for most people the word magus and its cognates connoted the sort of thing that we find in poetry from the start, but in prose only in later writers, Apuleius above all.

In this case, it is poetic usage that reflects the ordinary meaning of this word-group, whereas prose writ- ers deliberately confined themselves to the technical and somewhat learned meaning of the noun magus. This is in fact what Apuleius implies when he distinguishes the learned and the vulgar meanings of this word Apol. On the other hand, it is equally possible that poetic usage was deliberately exotic and remote from the language of everyday life, and that prose usage provides a more reliable guide to the way people used these terms in ordinary circumstances.

If so, we might postulate a gradual shift in the meaning of the noun, a develop- ment to which the poetic use of the adjective magicus contributed. In this scenario, the word magus would at first have had a fairly restricted meaning, denoting the Persian ritual specialists; it then began to be used more loosely of free-lance ritual specialists of various sorts, and lastly acquired the broad range of association that we find sketched in Pliny and accepted without comment in Apuleius.

Which scenario is more plausible is not at this point easy to determine. Ando and J. Riess ed. Possibilities for Further Research The fruits of this study are admittedly rather modest, and a broader field of investigation would undoubtedly produce a more ample har- vest.

There are various options for extending its scope. The first is to take into account other languages. Some other members of the Latin word-group seem also to be loans from Greek, and not derived independently from the Latin magus: this is certainly true of the abstract nouns magice and magia, both of which are clearly marked as Greek by their declensions, and may to some extent also be true of the adjective magicus cf.

It is a priori highly likely that Greek usage in the Hellenistic and imperial periods had considerable influence on the Latin usage. Moreover, the words eventually appear in other languages as well, such as Syriac and Coptic, and a comparison of their meaning in these languages with those in Latin and Greek may well yield some interesting results.

A second way to broaden the scope of this study is to extend it into later antiquity, and to trace what changes occurred in the use of these words with the spread of Christianity.

Although it is not possible here to pursue these various avenues of inquiry, I can at least offer a few preliminary observations. A closer examination of the avail- able evidence would undoubtedly shed further light on developments in the Hellenistic period. We have already seen that the evidence of Pliny indicates the importance of this word-group in pseudepigraphic treatises of arcane lore.

Legal writers use these words to denote improper or illegal activi- ties: Ulpian equates libri magici with mala medicamenta et venena D.

But Christian Latin writers, especially Tertullian but also Arnobius and Lactantius, are the ones who pro- vide the most extensive evidence for the later use of this word-group; careful study might be able to distinguish connotations that are spe- cifically Christian e. Although the results of the present inquiry are necessarily lim- ited and provisional, I hope that they nevertheless contribute something to our understanding of the meaning of these terms in antiquity.

Bibliography Bremmer, J. Appendix: Magic and Religion, in Bremmer and Veenstra , — Magic and Religion? Jerusa- lem Studies in Religion and Culture 8 Leyden. Bremmer, J. Cicero Tusc. Curtius Rufus 3. Catullus Vergil Ecl. Prose authors: Curtius Rufus 7. Ovid also uses the alterna- tive adjective magus twice, adding to the imbalance.

Seneca if he is indeed the author of Hercules Oetaeus does use the feminine noun maga in that play, but never the masculine magus. In order to substantiate this assertion, it is necessary to examine the evidence in more detail.

Whether the word was in fact the Persian equivalent of the Latin sacerdos is much less certain, since in Persian documentary texts it often appears with no obvious religious associations. They appear above all as experts in divination and divine lore, and are said to practice incest and leave the bodies of their dead to be torn by birds and beasts.

Divine lore: Thus Cicero refers several times to the expertise of the magi in divina- tion Div. In extant prose texts, this usage remains entirely consistent down to the second half of the first century CE. One of the most obvious is simply the increase in its abundance and variety.

As I noted above, Pliny uses the word magus far more frequently than any earlier writer. Lastly, he is the first extant Latin writer to use an abstract noun to describe the ars of the magi, the otherwise unattested magice. Nigidius Figulus frg. Experts in divination: Experts in ritual lore: Curtius Rufus, Alex.

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Erat in eo convivio Gobares, natione Medus, sed magicae artis--si modo ars est, non vanissimi cuiusque ludibrium--magis professione quam scientia celeber, alioqui moderatus et probus. Bohak, Ancient Jewish Magic Cambridge 78—9; also n. A few examples selected at random will illustrate the general pattern. Likewise the plant they call euplia: Although most of the lore that Pliny attributes to the magi does not seem to differ much from other such material that he records with evident approval, he often dismisses it with hostility and contempt: For I will set forth the most restrained of their promises: How fraudulent [quanta vanitate], if false, and how harmful, if they pass on the disease!

HN So for example he declares that he does not discuss abortifacients and love potions or other magica portenta, except by way of caution or refuta- tion HN Elsewhere he asserts that it would be a waste of time to describe a certain plant that is used only for love potions, although he allows himself one observation about it in order to expose magicae vanitates. Throughout most of the Natural History, the ars of the magi appears as the dark side of medicina: It is thus not surprising that Pliny associates the word magus and its cognates with a more traditional Latin word-group that had similar connotations, that of venenum and veneficium.

In another passage he explains that the flesh of tortoises is said to be peculiarly suitable for fumigations, for dispelling magicae artes, and as a cure for venena HN Catanancen Thessalam herbam qualis sit describi a nobis supervacuum est, cum sit usus eius ad amatoria tantum. Illud non ab re est dixisse ad detegendas magicas vanitates, electam ad hunc usum coniectura, quoniam arescens contraheret se ad speciem unguium milvi exanimati.

For other passages associating amatoria with magi, see, e. Where did it come from? A passage in Book 24 gives us a fairly good idea.

He goes on to discuss several plants described by Pythagoras in a book that others attribute to the doc- tor Cleemporus Matthew Dickie has cogently argued on the basis of this and similar passages that Pliny took his information about the magi and their lore from Hellenistic pseude- pigrapha: If we can take Pliny as a guide, they seem to have repre- sented the magi as eastern, and specifically Persian, ritual specialists with a particular expertise in divination. Boyce and F.

Grenet, A History of Zoroastrianism, 3: Zoroastrianism under Macedonian and Roman Rule Leyden —, esp. It was no doubt in part the influence of treatises such as these that caused Pliny to use magus and its cognates with a wider range of associations than we find in earlier prose writers. In the famous discussion of magicae vanitates with which he opens Book 30, how- ever, we find an even wider range yet.

Since this passage has been so often discussed, I will confine myself here to a few key points. All of this suggests that for Pliny the semantic range of magus and its cognates was by no means limited to what we find in earlier prose, or even to what we find in the rest of the Natural History, but was almost indefinitely extendable.

The use of this word-group in prose writers later than Pliny presents a contrast both with that of the earlier period and with that of Pliny himself.

It is difficult to draw any firm conclusions, because we have so very few examples: See also See especially R. Garosi, Indagine sulla formazione del concetto di magia nella cultura romana, in P. Xella ed. Studi di storia delle religione in memoria di Raffaela Garosi Rome 13—93 at 17— For one thing, in none of these passages is there any explicit connection with Persian tradition.

Secondly, the skills associated with this word-group are effectively limited to two areas: Only Quintilian suggests another association, when he illustrates the issue of definition with the question of whether carmina magorum can be considered veneficium. Libo Drusus, for example, is accused of having resorted to the promises of Chaldaeans, the rites of magi, and the interpreters of dreams Ann. Elsewhere, he describes Zoroaster as the inventor of the artes magicae 1.

The most intriguing passage comes in his account of Joseph, who became in Egypt an expert in the magicae artes, by which he means specifically the interpretation of omens and dreams Nam magos et pestilentiam et responsa et saeviores tragicis novercas aliaque magis adhuc fabulosa frustra inter sponsiones et interdicta quaeremus 2.

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Quae amissum filium nocte videbat in somnis, indicavit marito. Ille adhibito mago incantavit sepulcrum. Mater desiit videre filium; accusat maritum malae tractionis. Tacitus claims that she merely made inquiries as to the fate of her father. In the two remaining instances 6. Mamercus Scaurus accused of magorum sacra; Tarquitius Priscus accused of magicae superstitiones , Tacitus does not provide enough information to make it clear what exactly these terms mean.

It is worth noting, however, that in contexts where the issue is explicitly one of veneficia and devotiones the death of Germanicus and the trial of Piso at Ann. First, as I noted in the previous section, the adjective is relatively rare in prose, and when it does appear its derivation from the noun magus is clearly and immediate: Sec- ondly, down to the second half of the first century CE, the word-group refers exclusively to the Persian ritual specialists and their traditional areas of expertise, notably divination.

Thirdly, in Pliny the Elder we see a strikingly different tradition, which represented the Persian magi as authorities in the arcane properties of plants, animal substances, and stones; in his general discussion of magice, Pliny also reveals a tendency to link the word-group with a much wider range of tradi- tions, including well known scenes from literature. Lastly, although prose writers of the late first and early second centuries no longer use the word-group with specific reference to Persia, they do for the most part associate it with techniques such as divination in which the Per- sian magi were traditionally thought to be expert.

Poetry In poetry, the first appearance of this word-group is precisely in line with what we initially find in prose. After Catullus, however, the usage of poets and prose authors diverges radically.

Not only do poets show a strong preference for the adjective magicus over the noun magus, but they tend to use both words with a range of connotations that differs significantly from what we find in prose texts. Numantina at 4. The word appears twice in his works: Although in both cases the primary reference of the word is to love charms, Vergil elaborates on its connotations through a plethora of allusions. Similarly, with venena he links the power to transform oneself into a wolf, to summon shades from the grave, and to move crops from one field to another.

It is also worth noting that magicus here has no overt or even implicit connection with Persia: In short, in this passage of the Eclogues Vergil brings together a wide range of literary traditions and folk beliefs that have to do with the marvellous, and presents them as different ele- ments within a single general category that he denotes with the adjec- tive magicus.

This usage is fundamentally different from what we find in contemporary prose. In one of his Odes, for example, he presents a magus working with Thessalian ven- ena as someone who, along with a saga, might free a lovesick lad from his passion Carm. In his epistles, he praises the power of the poet to fill his audience with false terrors, ut magus Epist.

Again, instead of reference to the ethnographic tra- ditions about Persian magi, we find associations with folk beliefs and literary commonplaces about witches. He presents a bundle of motifs very similar to what we find in Vergil, with some variations: Tibullus uses the adjective magicus three times in this description: There is no need to look in detail at the use of the word in later poetry, since this would only reveal variations on the general pattern that I have already sketched out.

Latin poets consistently use the adjec- tive magicus to characterise rituals, herbs, and especially chants that bring about some alteration in the natural world, and they typically employ it in descriptions of witches, especially famous mythic figures like Circe and Medea. Grattius, for example, describes old fashioned amulets used to protect hunting dogs as herbae aided by magici cantus Cyneg. The noun magus, in contrast, continues to be very rare in poetry. Apart from a doubtful example in Ciris, Ovid is the only poet between Horace and Lucan to use it, and he does so with precisely the same connotations as the adjective magicus; indeed, he employs the 43 There are extended accounts of Canidia in Epod.

Artes magicae: Vergil, Aen. Although his use of the adjective magicus does not differ significantly from that of other poets, he employs the noun magus more frequently: To a certain extent, he seems to follow Horace and Ovid in using the noun with the same connotations that had become traditional for the adjective magicus.

But in one passage he quite explicitly uses the word magus to mean a Per- sian functionary: This association is even more explicit in other passages, where he sets up the Persian magi as in some sense the com- petitors of Thessalian witches: In this last passage it is also worth noting the apparent attribution of magi to Egypt as well as to Persia.

Although we might analyse this simply as an example of zeugma, Lucan similarly associates magi with Egypt in an earlier passage, where he speaks of Egyptian hieroglyphics that preserve magicae linguae 3.

Apart from Lucan, the use of this word-group in Latin poetry remains remarkably consistent from Vergil through Juvenal, both in the general preference for the adjective over the noun and in the range of connotations that the words normally carry. What is surprising in all this, and worthy of comment, is the extent to which this usage dif- fers from what we find in prose texts. Tarrant in OCT ]. The other instance occurs in the following line: The Meaning of Magus and its Cognates Having completed this survey of magus and its cognates in Latin prose and poetry, I now turn to some of the general issues that arise from it.

First of all, what accounts for the very different patterns of usage in prose and poetry? It is not possible to give a simple and definite answer to this question. It is clear enough that the initial use of the noun magus derives from Greek antecedents, especially ethnographic, historical, and philosophical texts.

But we cannot with any confidence say the same about the use of the adjective magicus in poetry. But neither Apollonius nor Theocritus employ the adjective magikos or any other cognate of magos in these passages. Since our knowledge of Hellenistic Greek poetry is so limited, it may be that the use of these words in similar contexts was a well established practice that simply happens not to be represented in the surviving texts.

The fact that Horace does not make use of this word-group in his earlier poetry, even in places where we might expect it, but only in his poetry of the 20s and 10s, might indicate that he adopted it only after his friend had set the example; certainly the practice of the elegists and later poets can be explained on the basis of the Vergilian precedent.

Whatever the reason, however, the Latin adjective magicus quickly became dissociated from any particular reference to Persian ritual spe- cialists, and acquired instead a more flexible and evocative semantic range.

The noun magus, by contrast, remained largely restricted to its original technical meaning. It was perhaps for this reason that poets made much greater use of the adjective, and employed the noun only occasionally as a derivative, so to speak, of the adjective.

Lucan reintroduces into poetry the technical meaning of the noun magus and associates it with the well-established connotations of the adjective magicus; as a result, in Lucan we find for the first time Persian magi presented as exponents of the magicae artes.

Not much later, the elder Pliny associates the noun with a body of lore that had not been linked to it before: But this sort of expertise, we should note, had long been associated with the adjective magicus in poetry. The full range of connotations that this word-group could have for Pliny becomes star- tlingly explicit in his general discussion of magice at the start of Book 30, which encompasses everything from the teachings of Zoroaster to human sacrifice in Gaul.