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Daughters of HecateWomen and Magic in the Ancient World$
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Kimberly B. Stratton and Dayna S. Kalleres

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342703.001.0001

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Drunken Hags with Amulets and Prostitutes with Erotic Spells: The Re-Feminization of Magic in Late Antique Christian Homilies

Drunken Hags with Amulets and Prostitutes with Erotic Spells: The Re-Feminization of Magic in Late Antique Christian Homilies

Chapter:
(p.219) 7 Drunken Hags with Amulets and Prostitutes with Erotic Spells: The Re-Feminization of Magic in Late Antique Christian Homilies
Source:
Daughters of Hecate
Author(s):

Dayna S. Kalleres

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342703.003.0007

This chapter explores the perpetuation of Roman stereotypes in Christian rhetoric of the Post Constantinian period. As Christianity emerged from secrecy into the public sphere, following the Council of Nicea (325 ce), church leaders such as John Chrysostom expressed concern over patrolling Christian identity in private homes. By drawing on literary tropes such as the drunken hag, dispensing amulets and healing potions, or the prostitute, casting love spells to captivate Christian husbands, Chrysostom constructs a rhetorical opposition in his sermons between magical dangers, lurking in the pagan city, and the vulnerable Christian home and family. In his endeavor to forge a new Christian empire, Chrysostom tries to force his flock to break from traditional pagan practices; in the process, even seemingly inoffensive remedia such as amulets or spells, recited in the name of God and Jesus, are forbidden as idolatry.

Keywords:   Chrysostom, hag, amulets, prostitute, rhetorical

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