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This month, the magazine Religions & Histoire publishes its usual bimonthly issue, devoted in particular to the magic of Antiquity, but also a special issue on the Holy Sepulcher to accompany the exhibition of the Palace of Versailles dedicated to the treasure of tomb of Christ. Two numbers once again very rich, which show that the relations between religion (in the broad sense) and history are an inexhaustible subject.
Magic in Antiquity
Issue 50 of Religions & Histoire offers a very comprehensive dossier (over thirty pages) on magic in Antiquity. The dossier is directed by Michaël Martin (teacher, specialist in ancient magic) who introduces Greco-Roman magic, before focusing on Greek shamans and the myth of the sorceresses of Thessaloniki, then on the role of magic in court of the Roman emperors. Good surprise, Gaul (certainly Roman) is also approached by Michaël Martin. Egypt is not to be outdone, with an article by Sydney Aufrère on magical papyri dating from the Roman and Hellenistic periods. Finally, monotheisms are not forgotten with the question of magic in Second Temple Judaism.
The remainder of the dossier consists of even more pointed articles (sometimes a little arduous perhaps) on medical magic in the imperial era, or on healing stones. Do not miss the interview with Claude Lecouteux on magic after Antiquity. As always, the magazine offers a remarkable iconography, and helps to go further with bibliographies.
The number 50, in addition to the usual topical sections (in particular the report of the exhibitions of the Cluny museum on the Pleurants and on the Renaissance of the North), is made up of other articles that we recommend, in particular the one on the Queen of Sheba in the Bible and the Koran. Olivier Bobineau’s free forum allows it to be really up to date since it is interested in the imperial character of the function of the pope, "true and last emperor", according to the historian.
The Holy Sepulcher. History and treasures of a holy place
The special issue n ° 9 of Religions & Histoire takes advantage of the exhibition at the Palace of Versailles on the treasure of the Holy Sepulcher to provide a complete history of this sacred place for Christians, in chronological order. First of all Antiquity, with the "discovery" of the place by Constantine, then the first pilgrimages. Then, the time of destruction, which goes from the Persian attacks against the Byzantines until the 11th century and the sacking of the Holy Sepulcher by Caliph Al-Hakim, a period when the place is under Muslim rule. Then come the Crusades, with the reconquest of the tomb of Christ by the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, and the reconstructions decided by the Crusaders. The end of the Latin States, then the arrival of the Turks opened a new, little-known page, that of Ottoman domination, dealt with in a very rich article. Finally, a short but fascinating subject shows the contribution of archeology to the knowledge of the Holy Sepulcher.
The second part, finally, focuses on the treasure itself, being in this respect closer to the exhibition.
Religions & History, Magic in Antiquity, n ° 50, May-June 2013.
Religions & History, The Holy Sepulcher. History and treasures of a holy place, HS n ° 9.