Today, in the 21st century, we think of magic, medicine, and miracles as three wholly distinct concepts. But in antiquity, these were all one and the same. The local magician was also the local medicine man; the local doctor also claimed to work miracles. In this two-session seminar, we’ll use archaeological evidence to understand the magical rituals the ancient Romans practiced, including:
Finally, we’ll examine our own modern notions about the differences between magic, science, and religion, and explore how our modern categories influence how we examine ancient evidence.