Why Magic Should Not Be Confused With Witchcraft

1402 Words Feb 25th, 2016 6 Pages
In the 21st century what do people think of when they hear the word magic? Is it Harry Potter and his friends fighting off Lord Voldemort or perhaps as Black Sabbath sings “witches at Black Masses?” It is probably a bit of both depending on your age and religious beliefs. This was not the case during the time period extending from antiquity to the early modern period. People in this time believed that magic could explain things they did not understand or could not explain. It was not for entertainment. “Magic probably claimed to provide all the answers which were later provided by science, technology, and philosophy: it was everything.” This statement stands true for all three periods this paper focuses on even the early modern period when religion was supposed to have taken place of magical beliefs. Magic should not be confused with witchcraft. People believed that you could perform magic without being or needing a witch. In antiquity, people believed that magic was between religion and superstition. “In a sense, magic, understood as a kind of science, has always tried to locate the secret forces in nature, especially their sympathies and antipathies and use them for specific purposes.” Ancient Greeks and Romans practiced or believed in many forms of magic but the magical ideal that lasted the longest and is seen throughout all three time periods is the ideal of malefic, the use of magic to do evil or harm. Medea is a prime example of this type of magic. She uses her…
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