Matthew Andrews: Magic and Religious Practice in Graeco-Roman Antiquity
Zeit & Ort
Über die Veranstaltung
The official OTO Curriculum contains a Roman novel from the 2nd century CE, Apuleius’ Golden Ass. It is a story of magic, sorceresses, and mystic enlightenment. It is part of the popular imagination to picture the ancient Graeco-Roman world populated with magicians, diviners, mystic teachers and secret teachings — and indeed it was. But how were magicians and enlightened teachers viewed by their contemporaries? Apuleius was brought to trial under charges of magic. The mysterious cult of Bacchus was supressed in Rome. Astrology was illegal. And yet the ancient states were guided by pagan ritual, oracular books, and bird omens. What was legal, and what was illegal? What was religion, and what was magic? The relationship between ancient religion and magic is complex, subtle, and ambiguous — often times as much so for ancient thinkers as for modern scholars. This talk will explore that relationship and introduce some of the ways recent scholarship has tried to make sense of it.
Matthew Andrews is a graduate student at the University of Cambridge. He was the Deputy Lodge Master at Phoenix Lodge, Montreal, and was the primary organizer of the first National Conference of OTO Canada (OTOCAN) in 2018.