Abstract

As Roman-Indian trade adjusted in Late Antiquity from its height in the first and second centuries c.e ., Indian trade goods became associated with magic as real connections between Rome and their Indian point of origin faded. This article explores trade relations among Rome, India, and Meroitic Kush; literary evidence of magical amulets and spells, which imbue with magical powers substances that were available in the Mediterranean only through long-distance trade; and the Roman-Indian slave trade. Previous scholarship has emphasized the Persian and Egyptian influences on Greco-Roman magic; this article, however, demonstrates the Indian influence on magical concepts at Rome and the disconnect between long-distance economic exchange and popular ideas about goods traded.

Abstract

As Roman-Indian trade adjusted in Late Antiquity from its height in the first and second centuries c.e., Indian trade goods became associated with magic as real connections between Rome and their Indian point of origin faded. This article explores trade relations among Rome, India, and Meroitic Kush; literary evidence of magical amulets and spells, which imbue with magical powers substances that were available in the Mediterranean only through long-distance trade; and the Roman-Indian slave trade. Previous scholarship has emphasized the Persian and Egyptian influences on Greco-Roman magic; this article, however, demonstrates the Indian influence on magical concepts at Rome and the disconnect between long-distance economic exchange and popular ideas about goods traded.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 1-23
Launched on MUSE
2013-08-07
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.