The Odyssey

Magical Practices in the Works of Homer

Homeric Epic has become a staple of the modern evaluation of the ancient Greco-Roman world. It is among the great literary works of history, having withstood the tests of time and remaining so widely popular. Whether we believe Homer was an individual, a group, or an evolution of oral tradition, it cannot be argued that any assessment of ancient Greek culture that does not include Homer's works is incomplete. They reflect not only the culture of the time period, but also the specific viewpoints of those who lived during that time. In terms of magical practices, in the works of Homer it seems that magic is used as a device to portray the belief that Gods control the mortal world in terms of physical attributes as well as power, yet when it comes to nonphysical aspects of the world, the Gods leave control in the hands of those who dwell in it. Magic is used as a means of depicting what mortals can control - when it comes to the physical world, war, strength, and power, the Gods decide what outcomes will occur and how they come to be - humans do not practice magic pertaining to such areas. But when magic is practiced, it relates to nonphysical areas of the mortal world, showing that mortals have control of this part of the...

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