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By Richard L. Gordon, Francisco Marco Simon

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Additional resources for Magical Practice in the Latin West (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World - Volume 168)

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Drawing on the sort of phraseology used in late antiquity in quasi-legalistic discussions of theft and its consequences”. 76 D. Mattingly, Being Roman: Expressing Identity in a Provincial Setting, JRA 17 (2004) 5–25 at 20f. 77 “It is at present tempting to regard Britain as a little ‘special’ in its preoccupations”: Reynolds 1990, 381. 24 richard gordon and francisco marco simón two different forms of curse-tablets with an intermediate ‘muddled’ group between, he now thinks in terms of a continuum whose poles are formed by two ideal-types of text, the one represented by a synthesis of the litigation- and spectacle-defixiones, the other by a synthesis of the texts from Cnidus and Bath.

This allows her to make further distinctions that have not hitherto been generally made, for example between the act of binding or piercing and that of committing or transferring the target to the implicit or explicit addressee(s). Kropp argues that the ‘manipulation formula’ functions ex opere operato, whereas the committal is normally to an addressee, who is then responsible for fulfilling the curse. In either case, the tablet is to be understood as a metaphor for the target; the psychological advantage of committal is that responsibility for the event is devolved onto the divine sphere.

24 richard gordon and francisco marco simón two different forms of curse-tablets with an intermediate ‘muddled’ group between, he now thinks in terms of a continuum whose poles are formed by two ideal-types of text, the one represented by a synthesis of the litigation- and spectacle-defixiones, the other by a synthesis of the texts from Cnidus and Bath. Moreover, his own later work, and suggestions by others, have contributed to refining the ideal-typical features of the prayer for justice, for example in stressing the role of legal or quasi-legal language, the model of the ἔντευξις, the petition as a key institution in communicating with bureaucracy and contingent political authorities, the role of calculated or rhetorically-convincing emotion in the expression of these texts.

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