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Archaeologists have unearthed a series of 2,000-year-old magic spells in Serbia

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posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 02:15 AM
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originally posted by: WhisperingEarth
a reply to: Byrd

Thank you for explaining that I had a small inkling that Christianity had a foothold in some of it; but wasn't too sure if it was back when translating or earlier than that. Though I find it interesting that you are able to say neutral or positive, I guess being so ingrained as a baptist being able to say positive with the title 'demon' seems quite taboo to me. I guess magic(k) would be in the same way, but I'm assuming that can be attributed with lack of science in that way versus the accounts of demons.


I can give you an example from Egyptology - during the Middle Kingdom the first priest-physicians had a set of tools that we call a "magical knife." Carved from hippo ivory, it was used (as far as we can tell) for magical healing rituals and protection, particularly during childbirth(Here's one at the Penn Museum). The early Egyptologists and enthusiasts called the figures on the wand "demons" - yet these spirits holding knives are NOT enemies, but protectors (we also see them as the gods that one has to confess to at the Hall of Judgement saying "i have not harmed anyone, I have not sinned, I have not stolen (etc)).

I'm glossing over a lot of material here... would be glad to answer questions about this. I know a *little* bit about magic in the ancient world; I'm most familiar with the Egyptian material from having taken courses in Egyptology at a university.




posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 02:22 AM
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a reply to: athousandlives

Nothing for Maglus, but good is having a field day trying to change it to Magnus. Everything that I was finding was pretty much the same as what you have found so I'm wondering the same thing. Perhaps just a minor god of retribution of sorts? If not that then perhaps the way in which it was/is spelled may have been altered and before we got to see the tablets and therefore we don't have much record.



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 02:30 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

Interesting far more Egyptian than I ever remember reading/learning about in High School. Now what I'm starting to grow curious about is the magic ( which I know you said you know a little bit about ). Was there actually any 'magic' to be had when utilizing the tools, invocations or turning this back upon athousandlives post but the curses? It seems like those are more so just things that can be chalked up to being primitive but a little bit higher up given the usage of tools and what not; but on the other hand there seems to be a few things that defy a bit of explanation at least for me but the cases are few and far between usually.



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 03:02 AM
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a reply to: WhisperingEarth

If you want to read more about the types of spells that would be used, try looking under the broader category of defixiones, which these seem to broadly fall under.


The word defixiones, as used by archaeologists, is from the ancient Roman term tabulae defixiones which translated means curse tablets. Ancient defixiones were used to convey messages to influential gods and spirits, usually asking them for victory over an enemy by ‘binding them up’ in some kind of horrific trouble. The root idea is to bind or tie up. Archaeologists have been discovering tabulae defixione artefacts for centuries but until adequate systems of interpretation and translation were available, many examples simply lay dormant, their dark curses remaining a hidden mystery.

Source

I studied some lead defixiones translations at uni (lead being the most common material), but they were occasionally printed on gold & other precious metals.



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 03:33 AM
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Here's another source discussing the newly found tablets. This source (& the one in my earlier post) both reference gold/precious metal curse scrolls found previously; I'm not sure why the archaeologist quoted in the OP's article said they'd never been found inscribed on gold before? It's rare, but..



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 04:31 AM
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a reply to: Saturnschild

Cool thanks, looks like a better article,

Was Aramaic still spoken at that time and was it spoken in what is now Serbia?
Or maybe thats why they used greek letters to write aramaic, maybe the writer didnt know aramaic but only knew the words and sounds?



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 06:36 AM
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a reply to: athousandlives

I think most defixiones were written in Greek or Latin; the Aramaic (written in Greek characters) shown here is interesting, but also makes sense due to the geographical location. From memory a curse tablet was found somewhat recently in the Middle East that featured a Gnostic deity (Abrasax/Abraxas) & was dated to a similar time as these, but I can't recall what language it was written in.

Because of the 'Christ/Antichrist' allusions, I immediately thought this could be a similar 'Gnostic defixiones', as many sects were of a similar time & incorporated strong elements of dualism. There's also a strong chance that the practitioner was simply calling upon the most powerful names s/he knew in order to effect the spell, & this looks contradictory to later Christian orthodoxy. I haven't actually had a chance to look over the site I sourced fully, so I'll let you know if any of the deity/daimon names are of any significance, & I'll also link the other curse tablet found nearby (short on time atm).



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 08:28 AM
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Here's the link to the similar curse tablet, found 3 years ago in Jerusalem. Similarly, a few powers are invoked on that tablet too, from eclectic sources. This kind of syncretism was common at the time though. If you lived on the Mediterranean you might have a house deity, participate in the Eleusinian Mysteries, & then worship at various local shrines to different gods, all without any conflict of faith. You might also pay homage to foreign gods as you passed through their lands.

I'm pretty sure Aramaic continued to be spoken in Syria, even after Alexander came through & the official language became Greek. It might have taken on a different form, but -- as you say -- older deities might continue to be known under their traditional names. This would make it even more appealing to the client I'd imagine. Most defixione-inscribing magicians (like modern-day fortune tellers) would latch onto anything that would give their amulets/tablets/scrolls power, quite freely syncretising beliefs/deities they found. They were especially fond of chthonic/underworld deities, & most of the tablets were buried in order to activate them. From memory, at least the Roman defixiones we studied were almost all found at the race track, various citizens trying to curse horses & chariot riders, haha. They then buried them under the track, where their power was most likely to take effect.

The tablets in the OP are gold/silver, so I'd imagine they were either commissioned by royalty or someone with a lot of coin. Maybe the neighbourhood was filled with rich Romans, I read something about further gold & silver artifacts being found at the same dig. Anyway, the powers invoked are Baal, Yahweh, Thobarabau, Seneseilam, and Sesengenfaranges. As per the above source, the last three are local Serbian deities/daimons, the first two are from the Levant (the second one quite obviously). It might seem out of place from a later or modern perspective to ram them together, but back then (the Council of Nicaea was only just happening, Christianity was only just getting it's 'official' story) it was "the more the merrier" when it came to harnessing divine assistance. I get that the specific inclusion of both 'Baal' & 'Yahweh' is unprecedented, but it still fits the general pattern of defixione construction. There was no real orthodoxy to contradict yet, you wrote down anyone's name who was powerful!


In saying all that, I think this is a rare, incredible find! I'm very interested in the silver tablet in particular, which appears to have been only inscribed with symbols. 'Voces Mystica' were common on defixiones -- strings of syllables that had divine power & no meaning -- but this is different, looks astrological. I'm looking forward to hearing more, thanks again for bringing it to our attention!




posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 10:03 AM
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originally posted by: Byrd

originally posted by: Oldtimer2
What I am wondering is how do they know they are magic?sounds like assumption


They're amulets, which are for one of several different purposes. Although amulets can serve as clan identification, when they come inscribed with a lot of writing, they're spells. The fact that these are written on gold or silver indicates magic.

They could be copies of texts but - as we see in Egypt and elsewhere - writing was thought to be powerful magic and written spells were given to the dead (and the living) to protect them.

Heck, it's still a pagan tradition in some circles today.


Yes we call it tweeting.

Is anyone gonna try and cast the spells?


edit on 8 11 2016 by burgerbuddy because: (no reason given)

edit on 8 11 2016 by burgerbuddy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: Saturnschild

Thank you very much for the articles! About to dive right in and see what it has to offer. Over the course of time wonder how many tablets they have found all together..



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: WhisperingEarth
a reply to: Saturnschild

Thank you very much for the articles! About to dive right in and see what it has to offer. Over the course of time wonder how many tablets they have found all together..


No problem, glad I could be of help. Most sites put the total number found at "more than 1500".



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: Saturnschild

Good lord. With that many spells makes me wonder just how many actually worked and how many were more or less "prayers"



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: Saturnschild

And thanks for your contribution Saturnschild, great input,
When I was a really young I had this idea of becoming an archeologist, for some reason I lost interest later, but every once in a while some new discovery still captures my imagination like that. And there's so much left to discover!



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 04:05 PM
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originally posted by: Saturnschild

originally posted by: WhisperingEarth
a reply to: Saturnschild

Thank you very much for the articles! About to dive right in and see what it has to offer. Over the course of time wonder how many tablets they have found all together..


No problem, glad I could be of help. Most sites put the total number found at "more than 1500".


Thanks for your wonderful posts! I've enjoyed browsing the links.



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 04:06 PM
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originally posted by: WhisperingEarth
a reply to: Saturnschild

Good lord. With that many spells makes me wonder just how many actually worked and how many were more or less "prayers"


They are basically "prayers" in any culture. So, yes the client would sometimes get positive results (particularly if everyone knew about it.)



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 06:13 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

So now it makes me wonder what the change is in trying to demonize that culture's way of saying/chanting a prayer especially when it can be almost no different than the way in any others. Or could it just be the way in which the translations are interpreted I suppose such as the demon discussion a few posts back.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 01:12 AM
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As I said, it's a holdover from the 1800's, when pagan things were seen as un-godly. This attitude changed in the 1900's (slowly, I should add, because a number of scholars were strong Christians and did see them as demonic.) Current attitudes are that they are interesting and can tell us much about the people and the culture. They aren't viewed as evil as a rule (there still may be a few holdouts who are very religious and are uncomfortable with these things.)



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

Gotcha. I guess in a way I was trying to see if there was a way to connect the dots with anything else throughout history.



posted on Aug, 12 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: WhisperingEarth
a reply to: Byrd

Gotcha. I guess in a way I was trying to see if there was a way to connect the dots with anything else throughout history.


Yes, but you'd have to be as aware of the cultures and the area as ThousandEyes is... or better informed about it. (which is why I'm not speculating, myself. I don't know beans about it.)



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