Friday, April 10, 2009

Mesopotamian Magic

"Magic language is usually distinguished from ordinary language. There are, in principle, three ways to achieve such a distinction. The first is to use a sacred language. The second is to use poetic, heightened language. . . . A third possibility is almost restricted to magic or ritualistic uses of language, and that is Mumbo-Jumbo. All three possibilities are used in Mesopotamian magic."
—I. Tzvi Abusch, Mesopotamian Magic, 1999

1 comment:

Neferu said...

Wonderful definition of magic, but the quote is actually by Niek Veldhuis, in his article, "The Poetry of Magic," which appears in the volume _Mesopotamian Magic_, edited by Tzvi Abusch and Karel van der Torn.