Abstract

summary:

This article examines the role of lead in curse tablets. After surveying the status quaestionis, it suggests that the preference for lead in curse-writing had little to do with the material's cheapness or obtainability, and everything to do with its social utility and physicality. Lead appealed for use in curse-writing because of the material's association with acts of fastening and restraining; common uses of lead as a binding-agent added metonymic force to the ritual act of "binding-down" rivals and wrongdoers. Lead's physical properties also made it apt for use in curse-writing, more so than other media.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2575-7199
Print ISSN
2575-7180
Pages
pp. 35-68
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-01
Open Access
No
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