Voces Magicae: From Ancient Sources to Modern Interpretations, an online lecture for Kirsten D Dzwiza patrons, May 28, 2023, 6pm CET, online.
“This is a lecture I have been wanting to do for a long time. ‘Voces magicae’ is not an ancient term that was used in the magical papyri. The original technical terminology in these papyri has been ignored by modern scholarship to a large extent, and modern interpretations illustrate a serious bias towards (or rather: against) magic and magicians on one hand, and a lack of examination of the original texts on the other. This has lead to quite some misunderstanding concerning what ‘voces magicae’ are, how they were understood and used in the magical papyri, and what they are not.
In the first part of this lecture I want to make you familiar with the ancient terminology behind ‘voces magicae’ and show you how they were understood and used in ancient magic. To do so, we will take a look at multiple examples from the ritual manuals as well as from the artefacts of applied magic. This will also illustrate where our current limits of understanding are.
In the second part of the lecture I will show you and discuss modern interpretations of ‘voces magicae’, from useful approaches to the ultimate biased explanations by renowned scholars.
I will close the lecture with an outlook of what is needed to improve our understanding of ‘voces magicae’ and how we can get there.”