MAGIC: Its History and Principal Rites by Maurice Bouisson

MAGIC: Its History and Principal Rites

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This ""page in the history of comparative religions"" has no particular doctrine to further- it is a documentation of magic as it has been practised in ancient and primitive (even more modern) cultures and a demonstration of its many manifestations. M. Bouisson has systematized an impressive body of material; on sympathetic rites (enchantments, cures, charms, divination, the mystery cults- Egyptian and Greek, dances and sacrifices); on the magic of incantation with its fascinating formulae of letters and numbers; on talismanic magic. He also limns the climate in which magic can best exert its powers; projects the devil's image- before and after Christianity- and the special cult of demonology, as well as alchemy; he discusses the famous sorcery trials all over the world; the secret societies of the ""more enlightened"" eighteenth century; and the continuing prevalence of witchcraft (Hitler's soothsayers, for example) today. A strictly historical and reasoning approach to a recondite area in which anything but reason obtains, a reference work of value.

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 1960
Publisher: Dutton