New Book Scrutinising Ancient Voces Magicæ Reviewed

Our subscribers may know of the CENOB database — that’s Corpus des énoncés des noms barbares — an attempt to put together something like a definitive list of every unintelligible ‘magic name’, mysterious string of vowels, and bastardised spell-fragment from a foreign tongue surviving from antique magical texts, inscriptions, etc.

The database has already inspired a volume of essays (Michel Tardieu, Anna van den Kerchove, Michela Zago, Noms barbares I: Formes et contextes d’une pratique magique. Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études. Sciences religieuses, 162. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2013), which is reviewed here.

Now Brepols has brought out a second collection, as we mentioned in this post:

Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete, Philippe Hoffmann, Langage des dieux, langage des démons, langage des hommes dans l’Antiquité. Recherches sur les rhétoriques religieuses (RRR) ; 26. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2017.

This can be found reviewed here.

Here at AEHQ have not had a chance to read either volume, but the impression we get is that these will be essential reading for anyone working on the voces magicæ at a deeper level than previous approaches (which mostly consisted of arguing about potential provenances in this or that language, and rarely addressed semiotic questions).