Forthcoming Publication: Defixiones and the Temple Locus: The Power of Place in the Curse Tablets at Mainz

I am happy to announce that my paper, “Defixiones and the Temple Locus: The Power of Place in the Curse Tablets at Mainz,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft (University of Pennsylvania Press)! This paper is a direct result of a research project on cursing in antiquity that I […]

ESSWE6 Conference Wrap-Up

As many of you know, the ESSWE conference is held every two years. Having attended the one in Gothenburg (Sweden) in 2013, I was excited to attend this year’s conference in Erfurt (Germany). I was doubly thrilled as I co-organized two panels on esotericism in antiquity with Dylan M. Burns (Freie Universität Berlin) and I […]

NSEA Panels at the 6th International ESSWE Conference

(This post is partially cross-posted from ancientesotericism.org.) The preliminary schedule for the 6th International ESSWE Conference in Erfurt is out! I am happy to report that the Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity has two panels scheduled, both on the first day of the conference (Thursday, June 1st). I will be speaking about […]

The Island of Sacred Deer

The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (Asia Minor, now Turkey) was a massive cult site which served a variety of community functions. Moreover, like other temples in antiquity, the physical space of the Temple of Artemis was designated as sacred. Nevertheless, such spaces weren’t always used for sacred purposes. For example, sacred land could be […]

Divination by Horses

  Divination in the ancient world took many forms. We’ve already talked about hepatoscopy, divination by means of the liver, as well as the fumes at Delphi. Most people are also familiar with augury, a popular form of divination which interpreted the calls and flights of birds. In the ancient world, nearly anything could be […]