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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Ancient Rome in Magick ; a question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

galerius
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I think everyone here knows "Antoninus Pius' Box".
Well, my question is very simple : does anyone know other effects, patters etc. about ancient Rome, roman objects or roman characters* ?

* not necessarily Romans, also Greeks etc but living in the roman Empire age, e.g. philosopher and wizard Apollonius of Tyana.
The Curator
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Cups and Balls (acetabulari) described by Alciphron.
The Curator
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Speaking about Italia, I'm going to Firenze in a few days.
Are there some magic shops around or some interesting contacts ?
And I'll spend 3 days in Pompei later.
Autumn Morning Star
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Hello Curator!
Will you have a chance to visit the Uffizi? This is not to be missed. You must get tickets in advance, but you probably know this. Amazing!

There are things about misdirection to be learned from the paintings. Notice they way your eyes fall on a certain figure in many of the religious paintings. You see nothing but the figure. Only when you actively search the painting with your eyes do you find several other characters. While this has to do with lighting and shadow, the posturing of the subject is tremendously important. If you go, you will see what I mean.

One of the most outstanding examples is "The Immaculate Conception" by Piero di Cosimo, 1498. All you see is the dove and the Madonna. She is totally surrounded. Here is a link...scroll down. The effect is much more pronounced in person: http://www.philipresheph.com/a424/galler......ept1.htm Lippi and Botticelli are more subtle but still create the same effect. Look for Botticelli's "Primavera". Sometimes a mere tilt of the head will bring initial attention to this subject.

Galerius, maybe you can find inspiration here for a routine. The lives of artists are filled with stories of wonder, sadness, and creativity. No one I know is doing anything like this.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
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Nice link, thanks.
I'll spend 15 days in Firenze and Toscana. So, it will be museums and more museums...
Autumn Morning Star
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You have probably been there before but this is what I wish someone had mentioned to me. Many hotels lack air conditioning and en-suite baths. You can double check your rooms with travelers commentary on http://www.venere.com

Let me warn you about the drivers. Think "lordy-mercy@psychodrivers.crash!" They touch your car with their car regularly. If they hit you they don't stop unless there is lots of blood. Take the train where you can and watch for pickpockets. The pickpockets are GOOD. We magicians could learn a thing or two.

That said, relax and have a beautiful time! You are now prepared for Italy!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
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Don't worry, I've already been in Italy and I'm belgian. It can't be worst.
jimgerrish
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One of Spellbinder's latest releases in The Wizards' Journal #9, called Magic Rune Sticks, can easily be adapted to any age or locale since you make the sticks yourself. They can be implements of the Oracle at Delphi (Greek) or the Cumaean Sibyl (Roman). Just carve the runes to fit the situation. It's on our site, The Magic Nook... http://www.magicnook.com
Harley Newman
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Re: Apollonius (whose biography is available on-line, and is a must-read for anybody interested in that stage of the development of our artform), Mithras, and Jesus. This set of contemporaries had a lot in common.

As street-preachers, they did many of the same things as street-preachers today (though television has replaced street-work for the big operators).

Their main goal, according to manuscripts, was wisdom. This, of course, is a public persona, and not necessarily related to their real goal, which was to sell good-luck charms. They did a particular style of show, to entice the public to buy those charms.

To draw the crowd, a performing convention was the equivalent of lieing on a bed of nails (that not becoming practical until the industrial revolution made mass-production of nails economically feasible). So they'd come into a town, chop down a thorn bush, and lie on it.

Once they had a crowd, they'd do a little sleight of hand, to make the audience think that they had the power to materialize and de-materialize things. They did a little of what we now call ventriloquism, to make the audience thing they were talking with spirits. They might also communicate with demons, and cast them out of crazy folks. That the demons spoke a different language, was not a problem. We might call it gibberish, but they thought it demonstrated the powers of the preacher.

And they preached. (The gospel of Thomas has many of the sayings (there attributed to Jesus) that were common among street-preachers of the time.) Maybe they'd heal someone who had an obvious affliction. That was the show.

And then they'd sell good-luck charms, amulets, lucky rings, etc.

Obvious afflictions are interesting. In American medicine shows, for example, the goals were to sell "medicine" and soap, usually. They had a wonderful bunch of tricks, to use as convincers.

One I've always admired, was to have a shill standing in the crowd, coughing and sniffling. The shill would be called up to the doctor, in the middle of the pitch, diagnosed with a terrible-sounding disease, and given a swig of the medicine. Lo and behold, he'd blow his nose, and out would come the most disgusting pile of yellow stuff, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the medicine. What the audience didn't know, was that his job involved stuffing his nose with custard, before the show.

Probably, custard was a much later addition to the repetoire, but using a scam would certainly have been a regular occurance.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Autumn Morning Star
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Now, Harley Newman, that was a fascinating and historical post! I really hope someone uses the ideas you have presented here. Jim Gerrish, the idea of using runes is timeless and a great idea, too. I hope galerius takes note of all the great ideas you two have presented! Good show, guys!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
jimgerrish
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That must be Apollonius of Tyana, rather than the mathematician Apollonius of Perga. It was a common name, so the distinction needs to be made. Old custard nose, we called him in school, although his stooges used scrambled eggs since custard hadn't been invented yet. He was not popular at parties.
Clifford the Red
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In the book, The Jesus Papers http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060827130/ if you ignore the hype of the cover there are lots of material surrounding the ancient cults and oracles that the Romans tried to stamp out. Fascinating stuff on actual underground temples that simulate the death experience and even the ride across Styx.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
galerius
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I had troubles with my pc and couldn't visit Magic Café for two weeks, so I can thank only now all for their suggestions.
Surely, Autumn Morning Star, figurative arts are a mine of ideas, I agree...Smile
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