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The Witch as a Woman: Tales of Magic in Rome

Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)

Abstract

While the Greek figures Circe and Medea emerged from myth and the oral tradition, Latin sorceresses were a product of literary creativity. The Greek witches appeared to be of divine descent, but no such claim is made of their Roman counterparts, like the frightening Erichto, or the lowlifes portrayed by Horace, such as Canidia, Sagana and others—these women all have features that will become constants in later representations of female witchcraft. Further, the Roman world produced sets of legislation, from the Twelve Tables to the Theodosian Code, which dealt with harmful magic and which would go on to influence the entire European tradition.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MessinaMessinaItaly

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