Effigies and Exorcisms: Rituals to Purify Patients and Expel Hostile Spirits in Greece and the Near East

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dc.contributor.advisor Koh, Andrew J.
dc.contributor.author Johnson, Ryan
dc.date.accessioned 2014-05-20T18:33:19Z
dc.date.available 2014-05-20T18:33:19Z
dc.date.issued 2014-05-20
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/27210
dc.description.abstract My objective in this work is to examine magic rituals of exorcism and purification in Greece and the Near East, particularly those that involve the manipulation of wax effigies, and to demonstrate transmission of this particular sort of ritual practice from the latter civilization to the former. In doing so, I examine primary texts detailing rituals of purification and exorcism, primarily from Mesopotamia and the Greek world, but from Syria and Anatolia as well. On the one hand, the Near Eastern documents come primarily from cuneiform tablets upon which ritual prescriptions were written, although I utilize data from an inscription in Syria as well. The Greek documents, on the other hand, come from a wide array of sources, which also include inscriptions, along with sources such as historical works and poetic compositions. When analyzing these sources, I look for specific parallels between Greek and Near Eastern rituals, whether in terms of how to appease a hostile spirit, specific types of sacrifices for purification, or similarities between incantation formulae. Lastly, I give a brief summary of material evidence for contact between Greece and the Near East. This includes an overview of Near Eastern sites where Mycenaean pottery appears, as well as an overview of Greek expansion eastward and Assyrian expansion westward, thus establishing points of contact for the cultures I discuss. Having thoroughly examined all of these sources, I am able to demonstrate numerous parallels between Greek and Near Eastern rituals of exorcism and purification, and am able to prove the existence of the transmission of these rituals from the Near East to Greece. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Copyright by Ryan Johnson 2014 en_US
dc.title Effigies and Exorcisms: Rituals to Purify Patients and Expel Hostile Spirits in Greece and the Near East en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies en_US


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