Animaux et pouvoir rituel dans les pratiques « magiques » du monde romain

Abstract : Documents from the Roman Imperial Period testify for the practice of “magic” all around the Mediterranean sea, including lists of remedies and cursing rituals, as well as the pretentions for some marvellous powers in the human sphere. In a relatively globalized world, the so-called “magical” practices are an open space for a kind of multicultural knowledge. Animals have been used in the making of medical remedies and rituals in the performance of a ritual power, to invoke the gods, or to cast curses. Getting from Pliny the Elder, the Cyranides and the greek papyri of magic, an investigation where eagle, bat, cat, dog, echeneis, hyena, hoopoe, lizards, snakes and mole talk among many other animal figures gives a chance to observe their cooking, sacrifice, or ritual killing, as well as their ability to represent the powers beyond in a multicultural context, first of all between Rome, Greece and Egypt. The use of animals in rites and medicine has been a subject of dialogue between different fields of knowledge and different cultures. The modalities of enunciation of such knowledge testify of the multiplicity of possible interpretations for the rites depending on the documentation. The writing of marvellous animal natures makes the ritual power as well as physiological discourses, such as the notion of antipathy. Then, the animal studies take part in a revising of the very notion of “magic” in the field of antic history.
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Thomas Galoppin. Animaux et pouvoir rituel dans les pratiques « magiques » du monde romain. Histoire. École pratique des hautes études - EPHE PARIS, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015EPHE5056⟩. ⟨tel-02099662⟩

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