Publication details

Lateinische Fluchtaflen Text und Kontext

Title in English Latin curse tablets - text and context


Year of publication 2019
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Curse tablets or defixiones were intended to affect the actions or health of people or animals against their will with the help of supernatural powers. There are altogether about six hundred Latin curse texts, most of which are inscribed on lead tablets, attested from the 2nd cent. BCE to the end of the 4th and 5th cent. CE. As recent findings from Mainz (Blänsdorf 2012, 34 tablets), from the fountain of Anna Perenna in Rome (Blänsdorf-Piranomonte 2012, 26 tablets), Pannonia (Barta 2009; 2015; 2017) and Kempraten (Frei-Stolba et al. 2011) show, the corpus of defixiones keeps growing at a slow but steady pace. Since the curse tablets were addressed to supernatural powers and their authors usually hid them from the eyes of the mortals, it can be safely assumed that the preserved defixiones are only small fragments of the total ancient production.
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