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Magic in Names

Magic in Names

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Published by Dawne_Berry
Table of Contents
1) Magic & Religion
2) Mana in Tangible Things
--Mana in Blood
-- " in Hair & Teeth
-- " in Saliva
-- " in Portrait
3) Mana in Intangible Things
--Mana in Shadows
-- " Reflections & Echoes
-- " Personal Names
-- " Names of Relatives
-- " Birth & Baptismal Names
-- " Initiation Names
-- " Euphemisms
-- " Names of Kings & Priests
-- " Names of the Dead
-- " Names of Gods
4) Mana in Words
--Creative Words
--Mantrams
--Passwords
--Curses
--Spells & Amulets
--Cure Charms
5) The Name & the Soul
Table of Contents
1) Magic & Religion
2) Mana in Tangible Things
--Mana in Blood
-- " in Hair & Teeth
-- " in Saliva
-- " in Portrait
3) Mana in Intangible Things
--Mana in Shadows
-- " Reflections & Echoes
-- " Personal Names
-- " Names of Relatives
-- " Birth & Baptismal Names
-- " Initiation Names
-- " Euphemisms
-- " Names of Kings & Priests
-- " Names of the Dead
-- " Names of Gods
4) Mana in Words
--Creative Words
--Mantrams
--Passwords
--Curses
--Spells & Amulets
--Cure Charms
5) The Name & the Soul

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Published by: Dawne_Berry on Aug 14, 2008
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07/16/2014

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*'

old Adam " has been cast out. A striking

illustration of the belief in the power over the

god which mortals may secure by knowledge of

his name is supplied by the concealment of the

name of the tutelary deity of Rome. Plutarch

asks, " How commeth it to passe, that it is

expressly forbidden at Rome, either to name or

to demaund ought as touching the Tutelar god,

who hath in particular recommendation and

patronage the safetie and preservation of the

citie ; not so much as to enquire whether the said

deitie be male or female ? And verely this

prohibition proceedeth from a superstitious feare

that they have, for that they say, that Valerius

Soranus died an ill death because he presumed to

utter and publish so much." ^

Plutarch's answer

shows more approach to the true explanation

than is his wont. He continues the interrogative

strain : " Is it in regard of a certain reason that

some Latin historians do alledge; namely, that

there be certaine evocations and enchantings of

the gods by spels and charmes, through the power

whereof they are of opinion that they might be

able to call forth and draw away the Tutelar

gods of their enemies, and to cause them to

come and dwell with them; and therefore the

Romans be afraid lest they may do as much for

1

Romane Questions, 61 (Bibliotheque de Carabas).

Edited by Prof. F. B. Jevons.

134

MAGIC IN NAMES

them? For, like as in times past the Tyrians,

as we find upon record, when their citie was

besieged, enchained the images of their gods to

their shrines ^

for feare they would abandon

their citie and be gone, and as others demanded

pledges and sureties that they should come

againe to their place, whensoever they sent them

to any bath to be washed, or let them go to any

expiation to be cleansed; even so the Romans

thought, that to be altogether unknowen and

not once named, was the best means, and surest

way to keepe with their Tutelar god." ^

Accord-

ing to Macrobius, this deity was Ops Consivia,

the god of sowing, who would naturally be

revered by an agricultural people.^ Pliny says

that Verrius Flaccus quotes authors, whom he

thinks trustworthy, to the effect that when the

Romans laid siege to a town, the first step was

for the priests to summon the guardian god of

the place, and to offer him the same or a greater

place in the Roman pantheon. This practice,

Pliny adds, still remains in the pontifical dis-

cipline, and it is certainly for this reason that the

name of the god under whose protection Rome

itself has been is kept secret, lest its enemies

should use like tactics.

^

On the custom of binding gods, see article by William

Crooke, Folk-lore, 1897, pp. 325-55.

-

Plutarch, 61.

3

Hibbert Journal, January 1915, article by Prof. H. A.

Strong.

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