"Wide-ranging, well-documented, up-to-date. . . . Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: Ancient Greece and Rome is deliberately designed as an introduction for the general reader, and it fulfills that function admirably."—Peter Green, New RepublicSelected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 2000
"An exceptional historical and social analysis of a subject of enduring interest."—Library Journal
"This extensive and reliable handbook will be the general introduction to ancient magic for some time to come."—Choice
"Although the volumes are intended mainly for scholars, there is much in them to interest the common reader."—New Yorker
The roots of European witchcraft and magic lie in Hebrew and other ancient Near Eastern cultures and in the Celtic, Nordic, and Germanic traditions of the Continent. For two millennia, European folklore and ritual have been imbued with the belief in the supernatural, yielding a rich trove of histories and images.
The six volumes in the series Witchcraft and Magic in Europe combine traditional approaches of political, legal, and social historians with critical syntheses of cultural anthropology, historical psychology, and gender studies. The series provides a modern, scholarly survey of the supernatural beliefs of Europeans from ancient times to the present day. Each volume contains the work of distinguished scholars chosen for their expertise in a particular era or region.
The chronological scope of this volume ranges from the heroic age of Homer's Greek East to the time of the rise of Christianity, a period of well over a thousand years. In this long millennium the political and cultural landscapes of the Mediterranean basin underwent significant changes, as competing creeds and denominations rose to the fore, and often accused each other of sorcery.
Other volumes in the series Witchcraft and Magic in Europe:
Biblical and Pagan Societies
The Middle Ages
The Period of the Witch Trials
The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
The Twentieth Century
Bengt Ankarloo is Professor of History at Lund University, Sweden. Stuart Clark is Professor of History at the University of Wales, Swansea.