Black Magic in Roman Curses


Photo: Museo Archeologico Civico di Bologna

There ain't no curse like black magic curse! Newly deciphered tablets revealed the use of black magic in 1,600-year-old Roman curses:

One of the curses targets a Roman senator named Fistus and appears to be the only known example of a cursed senator. The other curse targets a veterinarian named Porcello. Ironically, Porcello is the Latin word for pig.

Celia Sánchez Natalías, a doctoral student at the University of Zaragoza, explained that Porcello was probably his real name. "In the world of curse tablets, one of the things that you have to do is to try to identify your victim in a very, very, exact way."

Sánchez Natalías added that it isn't certain who cursed Porcello or why. It could be for either personal or professional reasons. "Maybe this person was someone that (had) a horse or an animal killed by Porcello's medicine," said Sánchez Natalías.

"Destroy, crush, kill, strangle Porcello and wife Maurilla. Their soul, heart, buttocks, liver ..." part of it reads. The iconography on the tablet actually shows a mummified Porcello, his arms crossed (as is the deity) and his name written on both of his arms.

Owen Jarus of LiveScience has the story: Link

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