One of my fave blogs has a great piece exploring the connections between magic, poison and prostitution. I live for this kind of high weirdness. Check it out.
Working with this model, it should come as no surprise that allegations of magic—i.e. engaging in socially deviant behaviour—were often targeted at those most marginalized in society. In fact, it was within these dis-enfranchised sectors where magic appeared to flourished most. Women, in particular prostitutes, were seen as experts in the magical arts.
Prostitutes were widely believed to be specialists in erotic magic, especially the use of philtres to sway the feelings of those around them (Dickie 83). For example, a woman may resort to a binding spell, to handicap rivals in the trade or lock down a steady client (Dickie 85-87). It was also thought that respectable men in society who financially supported brothels, perhaps by providing a madam with a regular stipend, were the victims of a well-administered pharmaka. After all, no clear-thinking man would donate his livelihood to such a person unless compelled otherwise (Dickie 83). What can be seen here is a pervading belief that prostitutes not only knew magic, but they employed it for their own gain.
Latest posts by Matt Staggs (see all)
- A Changing Of The Guard: Meet Your New Site Editor - Jul 6, 2014
- Thirty Patients Contract TB After Visits To Acupuncture Clinic - Jul 1, 2014
- Drunk Midwesterners Make Up the Majority Of UFO Witnesses - Jul 1, 2014