Book section Open Access

'Magic and Medicine: the Power of Seals', in Chr. Entwistle, N. Adams (eds), 'Gems of Heaven'. Recent Research on Engraved Gemstones in Late Antiquity c. AD 200-600, London, 2011, 69-74.

Dasen Véronique

Material evidence of the relationship between ancient magic and medicine is manifold. A number of recent studies have explored the fluidity of the boundaries between medical, religious, and magical therapies in Classical antiquity, but the implications of this interplay have yet to be fully investigated. In this paper, I would like to pursue reflections on these interactions. I will more specifically focus on the notion of sphragis (seal), common to both practices, and explore the double meaning of the word which casts light on an important aspect of the cultural context of magical gems and could elucidate one of their operating modes.

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