Wikipedia Entry of the Day: Curse Tablet

Eyguières

Just in time for Valentine’s Day?? The funniest part to me is making a bunch of these in anticipation of demand but leaving the names blank.

A curse tablet or binding spell (defixio in Latin, κατάδεσμος katadesmos in Greek) is a type of curse found throughout the Graeco-Roman world, in which someone would ask the gods to do harm to others.

These texts were typically scratched on very thin sheets of lead in tiny letters, then often rolled, folded, or pierced with nails. These bound tablets were then usually placed beneath the ground: either buried in graves or tombs, thrown into wells or pools, sequestered in underground sanctuaries, or nailed to the walls of temples. Tablets were also used for love spells and, when used in this manner they were placed inside the home of the desired target.[1] They are sometimes discovered along with small dolls or figurines (sometimes inaccurately referred to as “Voodoo dolls[2]), which may also be pierced by nails. The figurines resembled the target and often had both their feet and hands bound.[3] Curse tablets also included hair or pieces of clothing. This is especially the case in love spells, which calls for “hair from the head of the love target.” Some love spells have even been discovered “folded around some hair,” probably to bind the spell itself.[4] “Not all tablets included a personal name, but it is clear especially in the Roman period, that tablets were sometimes prepared in advance, with space left for inserting the names provided by paying customers.”[5]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: