Publisher description for Ancient Jewish magic : a history / Gideon Bohak.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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This is a pioneering history of ancient Jewish magic, from the Second Temple to the rabbinic period. It is based both on the ancient magicians' own compositions (and products) in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, and on the descriptions and prescriptions of non-magicians, in an effort to reconstruct a historical picture that is as balanced and nuanced as possible. The book's main focus is on the cultural make-up of ancient Jewish magic, with special attention paid to processes of cross-cultural contacts and borrowings between Jews and non-Jews and to inner-Jewish creativity. Another major issue is the place of magic within Jewish society at the time, contemporary Jewish attitudes to magic and the identity of its practitioners. Throughout, it seeks to explain the methodological underpinnings of all sound research in this demanding field, and to point out areas where further research is likely to prove fruitful.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Magic, Jewish -- History.
Magic in rabbinical literature.