Night's Black Agents

Book Details

Author  Daniel Ogden
Publisher  Bloomsbury Academic
Publication Date   July 15, 2008
ISBN  1847252303
Pages  248

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Description

The Ghost of Sychaeus:

At length, in dead of night, the ghost appears
Of her unhappy lord: the specter stares,And, with erected eyes, his bloody bosom bares.The cruel altars and his fate he tells―The Aeneid

The literature of classical antiquity bristles with witches, ghosts, magic books, curses, voodoo-dolls, and other fiendish monsters. This book covers the literature of both Greek and Roman cultures over a period of more than a thousand years, through the advent of Christianity. Although classical culture was conservative, especially in regards to ghosts and witches which were strongly bound up in folklore, such tales preserve and conserve ideas about ghosts and witchcraft, and they survive to achieve this effect precisely because they are wonderfully engaging. Consequently, and also because they have directly and indirectly shaped our own culture's lore of magic and ghosts, these tales speak to us today still with a great directness and immediacy. In Night's Black Agents, Ogden uncovers the ancient foundations of the supernatural stories that have endured for generations.

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