Saturday, November 27, 2021


A Bad Mind and a Bad Death

Sarah Veale, "Defixiones and the Temple Locus: The Power of Place in the Curse Tablets at Mainz," Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 12.3 (Winter 2017) 279-313 (at 288, translation of Defixionum Tabellae Mogontiacenses #5):
Blessed and good lord Attis, be present, come angrily to Liberalus. I ask you through all things, lord, by your [gods] Castor and Pollux, by the innermost boxes, that you give him a bad mind and a bad death. As long as his life may exist, may he see himself die in his entire body before his eyes. // Let him not be able to redeem himself with any money, nor any deed, nor by you, nor by another god unless he dies badly. Do this, I ask you by your power.
Liberalus in Veale's translation is a mistake for Liberalis. Thanks to Kenneth Haynes for pointing this out.

Cf. the translation by Stuart McKie in his PhD thesis The Social Significance of Curse Tablets in the North-Western Provinces of the Roman Empire (The Open University, 2017), p. 554:
Good holy Att(h)is, Lord, help (me), come to Liberalis in anger. I ask you by everything, Lord, by your Castor (and) Pollux, by the boxes of the sanctuary, give him a bad mind, a bad death, so long as he lives, so he may see himself dying all over his body, except the eyes // and that he cannot redeem himself with money or anything else, neither from you nor from some other god, except with a bad death. Grant this, I ask you by your majesty.
The Latin (Veale, p. 310, simplified by the omission of line breaks and numbers):
Bone sancte Atthis Tyranne, adsi(s), aduenias Liberali iratus. Per omnia te rogo, domine, per tuum Castorem, Pollucem, per cistas penetrales, des ei malam mentem, malum exitum, quandius uita uixerit, ut omni corpore uideat se emori praeter oculos // neque se possit redimere nulla pe{r}cunia nullaque re neq(ue) abs te neque ab ullo deo nisi ut exitum malum. Hoc praesta, rogo te per maiestatem tuam.
quandius = quamdiu.

On this curse tablet see Jürgen Blänsdorf, "The Defixiones from the Sanctuary of Isis and Magna Mater in Mainz," in Richard L. Gordon and Francisco Marco Simón, edd., Magical Practice in the Latin West: Papers from the International Conference held at the University of Zaragoza, 30 Sept.-1 Oct. 2005 (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 141–189 (at 147-150, 166-168).


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?