“To the ravens”: Curses from the Oracle of Abonouteichos
Abstract: This discussion examines the religious conflict between the cult and oracle of Glykon and its Epicurean opponents recorded in the second century CE satire, Alexander the False Prophet, by Lucian of Samosata. Following the market theory of religion approach, these groups can be understood to have been engaged in an intense and escalating struggle over followers, financial support, status, and, ultimately, for survival. For the oracle and Glykon's prophet, Alexander of Abonouteichos, this effort included the use of magical curses, which were deployed against their adversaries. As such, these circumstances represent an as-yet unrecognized agonistic context for cursing to take place in the Graeco-Roman world. Alexander's use of cursing also highlights previously overlooked aspects of his own connections to the practice of magic in Graeco-Roman antiquity.
Keywords: cursing / oracle / Graeco Roman / survival / Alexander / Abonouteichos / Glykon / prophet
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