Ancient Cultures: The Art of Magic
University of Newcastle
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Host University Units10
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4 - 6
Hours & Credits
Deals with definitions of magic, witchcraft, religion and the connections between occult practices and religious belief/practice. Later lectures deal with the actual practice of various forms of magic in antiquity, beginning with those who practiced it, and concluding with the degrees of belief in such activities and reactions against them. Actual magic practices such as curse tablets, binding spells, alchemy and astrology are analysed. The second major component of the course is based on the fantasy world of magic and witchcraft in literature. In addition to looking at Greek and Roman literature there is a comparative element involving fairy-tales and material from the age of the Witch Hunts.
1. Knowledge of Ancient Magic 1.1 To offer students a sound, discipline-based study of ancient magic 1.2 To foster an interest in the course and its various components
2. Appreciation of Ancient Cultural Influence 2.1 To establish and develop connections between the course, its social and cultural heritage and other subjects taught within the School of Humanities 2.2 To encourage and strengthen linkages between the social and cultural worlds of ancient Greece and Rome and the historical and social environments of Western society
3. The Development of Communication Skills 3.1 Oral communication 3.2 Written communication 3.3 Electronic communication
4. Research Development 4.1 Independent research skills 4.2 An ability to communicate the products of research in a clear, concise and analytical manner
Introduction:a) Definitions of Magic and Witchcraft b) Magic and Religion: Similarities and Differences.
The Deities of Magic Practitioners
The Practitioners Themselves
Reasons for the Practice of Magic and Witchcraft
Curse Tablets, Binding Spells, Voodoo Dolls
Magical Papyri and Spell-books
Prophecy, Divination and Astrology
Herbalism (for healing and harm)
Belief in the Degree of the Efficacy of Magic; Reactions to the Practice of Occult Arts; Magic as Charlatanism; Laws Against Magic
Magic and the Occult in Literature: a) The Tools of the Witch b) Greek Witches c) Roman Witches d) Comparative Material: Fairy-tales and Material from the Age of the Witch Hunts (particularly the Malleus Maleficarum)
In Term Test: Class test *
Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case study *
Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial paper *
Essay: Essay *
* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.
In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:
Course Assessment Requirements:
In Term Test: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
Essay: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.