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Nov 14, 2008

For most magic acts or rituals there existed counter-magic. it. Amulets were one of the most common protections used in the Greco-Roman world as protection against such fearful things as curses and the evil eye; which were seen as very real by most of its inhabitants. Amulets were often made of cheap materials, but precious stones were believed to have special efficacy. Many discovered thousands of carved gems clearly had a magical rather than an ornamental function. Amulets were a very widespread type of magic, because of the fear of other types of magic such as curses being used against oneself. Thus amulets were actually often a mixture of various formulas from Babylonian, Egyptian, and Greek elements that were worn by those of most affiliations so as to protect against other forms of magic. It is interesting to note that amulets are actually often abbreviated forms of the formulas found in the magical papyri.

Magical tools were thus very common in magical rituals. They were just as important as the spells and incantations that were repeated for each magical ritual. Direct evidence of this - a magician’s kit, probably dating from the third century CE, was discovered in the remains of the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor. The find consisted of a bronze table and base covered with symbols, a dish, a large bronze nail with letters inscribed on its flat sides, two bronze rings, and three black polished stones inscribed with the names of supernatural powers. What emerges then, from this evidence, is the conclusion that a type of permanence and universality of magic had developed in the the Hellenistic period if not earlier. Most scientists agree that although many testimonies about magic are relatively late, the practices they reveal are much older.

May 27, 2008

Lyonesse has been also used as a setting for many modern fantasy stories. J. R. R. Tolkien drew some of his inspiration for the lost kingdom of Numenor from the legends of Lyonesse; one of the kingdom's many names in his myths is called Westernesse. While doing my research for web analytics company, I found something else.

There is evidence that in Roman times the Isles of Scilly were one large island. According to legend, Lyonesse stretched from Scilly to Land's End at the westernmost tip of Cornwall, and once had some 140 churches. Its capital was the City of Lions, located on what is now the treacherous Seven Stones reef. The names of the traditional kings of Lyonesse are derived from Welsh and Arthurian myth. It is often suggested that the tale of Lyonesse represents an extraordinary survival of folk memory of the flooding of the Isles of Scilly. Cornish people still believe strongly in a sunken forest in Mount's Bay. And there is archaeological evidence of the forest. The remains of it is evident at very low tides, where petrified tree stumps become visible.

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Posted: May 27, 2008 1:52pm

 

 
 
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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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