Bindings and curses, love charms and healing potions, amulets and talismans – from simple spells to complex group rituals, ancient societies made use of both magic and religion to try to influence the world around them. In this course, we shall examine the roles of magic and religion in the ancient Greek
and Roman worlds, paying special attention to their local contexts and to the myths and actual techniques ancient practitioners used to serve their clientele.
In this class, we examine descriptions of religious and magical practices in the multicultural contexts of ancient Greece and Rome. Our sources include literary accounts, legal documents, and material objects, such as inscriptions, amulets, tablets, magical images, and papyri. Additionally, instruction for this class incorporates a combination of locations and technologies, including the the BeAM Makerspaces, the Greenlaw Gameroom, and the Ackland Art Museum. During the course of the term, students will be expected to analyze ancient literature and material artifacts, construct replicas of ancient objects, and explore reconstructions of the ancient Greco-Roman world in video games.