1. Lonato del Garda, Italy – June 2018
  2. Paris – September 2018
  3. Athens – June 2019

The project «Curses in Context», funded by the Neubauer Collegium, had its first conference on June 21–23, 2018. We sponsored four sessions entitled “Curses in Context 1: The Evidence from the Western Empire” at Lonato Del Garda, Italy, as part of the annual meeting of the Symposium Classicum Peregrinum:

Curses in Context 1: Curse Tablets from Rome and Italy

Christopher A. Faraone, Introduction

Richard Gordon, (University of Erfurt) “Do the curse-tablets from Italy represent a specific knowledge-practice?”

Raquel Martín Hernández (Complutense University, Madrid), “Eulamo or Seth?: On the Equine-Headed God Represented in the Defixiones from Rome”

Curses in Context 2: Curse Tablets from the Italian Peninsula and Sardinia

Stefano Magnani (University of Udine), “Curse Tablets in the Wider Region of Aquileia”

Riccardo Massarelli (University of Perugia): “The Etruscan Defixiones: From Contexts to Texts”

Paolo Vitellozzi, (University of Perugia): “Binding Rituals in Italy: Greek Tradition and Autochthonous Contexts”

Alessandra La Fragola (Alghero, Sardinia), “The Ritual Context of the Curse Tablets from the La Purissima Sanctuary in Alghero, Sardinia”

Curses in Context 3: Curse Tablets from the Latin West:

Francisco Marco Simon (Zaragoza University) “The Earliest Hispanic Defixiones (Republican and Augustan periods) and the Context of Some Iberian Texts Written on Lead”

Celia Sánchez Natalías (University of Zaragoza), “Depositing Defixiones in the Latin West”

Stuart Mckie (University of Manchester) “A gift to the gods by which Butu has perished…” Curse tablets and votive rituals in the Roman north-west”

Roger Tomlin (Oxford University) “The Latin Curses from Uley: Beyond the Interim Report”

György Nemeth (University of Budapest), “A Latin Defixio against Snakes and Scorpions from North-Africa”

Workshop on the Conservation and Photography of Lead Curse Tablets:

A. Rossetti (Grand Patrimoine de Loire Atlantique, Laboratoire Arc’Antique), “The Conservation of Lead Curse Tablets”

Mirco Cusin and Stefano Magnani (University of Udine), “Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI): Photographing Inscribed Curse Tablets and Producing Accurate Drawings of Them”

Raquel Martín Hernández (Complutense University, Madrid): “New Technologies for Tracing Magical Drawings”


Curses in Context 2: Curses and Curse Tablets in the Roman Provinces

organized by C.A. Faraone and S. Torallas at the Paris Center
of the University of Chicago with funding from the Neubauer Collegium and the Center in Paris Faculty Grants Program.
Monday, September 17:

1:30-2:00 Leora Auslander (Director of the Paris Center) “Greeting”
Chris Faraone (University of Chicago): “The Curses in Context Project”
Cliff Ando (University of Chicago): “Introduction: Curses and Empire”

Session 1: Curses and Chariot Races: (Chair: Cliff Ando)
2:00-2:40: Margaretha Folmer (Leiden University/Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):
“A Late Antique Defixio in Aramaic from the Circus in Antioch”
2:40-3:20: Eric Gubel (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels), Vanessa Boschloos (Ghent University) and Wilfried Van Rengen (Vrije Universiteit Brussels):
“The New Charioteer Curses from a Late-Roman Well in Tyre”
Coffee break (3:20-3:40)
3:40-4:20: Chris Faraone (University of Chicago):
“Defixiones against Chariot Horses in the African and Eastern Provinces”
4:20-5:00 Gyorgy Nemeth (University of Budapest)
“Magical Symbols (Charactêres) on North-African Curse-Tablets as a Regional Habit”

Coffee break (5:00-5:20)

Session 2: New Curses from Caesarea (Chair: Sofia Torallas)
5:20-5:30: Robert Daniel (University of Cologne):
“A Vestige of the Ptolemaic Crocodile Cult in a Late-Antique Curse from Caesarea Maritima” (short presentation)

5:30-6:00: Attilio Mastrocinque (University of Verona):
“A Curse against a Dancer from the Theater in Late-Antique Caesarea”

Session 3: Keynote Lecture 1 (Chair: Sylvia Estienne):
6:00-7:00: Nicole Belayche (EPHE, Paris):
“Curse Tablets from the Roman Near East: Local Specificities for a Mediterranean Practice?”

Roundtable Discussion and Reception (7:00-8:00)
Dinner for Conference Participants (8:30)

Tuesday, September 18:

Session 4: Cyprus and Greece (Chair: R. Gordon):
10:00-10:40: Riccardo Vecchiato (Institut für Altertumskunde, University of Cologne):
“The Curse Tablets from Amathous, Cyprus: New Readings and Interpretations”
10:40-11:20: Maria Michalaki Kollia (Ephorate of Rhodes):
“Les tablettes de malédiction de la nécropole rhodienne et leur contexte archéologique”

Coffee break (11:20-11:40)

Session 5: Social Contexts (Chair: S. Nooter)
11:40-12:20: Stuart Mckie (University of Manchester):
“Angry Agency: Curse Tablets and Social Action in the Roman World”
12:20-1:00: Ortal-Paz Saar (Utrecht University): “Justice and Aggression in Some Late-Antique Curse Texts”

Lunch (1:00-3:00):

Session 6: Scribes and Scripts (Chair: Anne Boud’hors):
3:00-3:40: Sofía Torallas (University of Chicago):
“The Scribes and Greek Paleography of the Late-Antique Curses”
3:40-4:20: Korshi Dosoo (University of Wurzburg):
“Binding Spells in the Coptic Magical Tradition”

Coffee break (4:20-4:40)

Session 7: Text and Images (Chair: Korshi Dosoo)
4:40-5:20: Raquel Martín Hernández (Complutense University, Madrid):
“Drawings on Late-Antique Defixiones”
5:20-6:00: Christophe Goddard (École Normale Superiore, Paris):
“L’Osiris au serpent: des tablettes de défixion de la via Appia au sanctuaire tardo-antique du Janicule”

Session 8: Keynote Lecture 2 (Chair: Stéphanie Wyler):
6:00-7:00: Cléo Carastro (EHESS, Paris),
“Binding, Sacrifice and Images in Ancient Curse Rituals”

Roundtable Discussion and Reception (7:00-8:00)

Curses in Context 3: “Greek Curse Tablets of the Classical and Hellenistic Periods”

June 7-9, 2019 at the Norwegian Institute at Athens

Organized by C.A. Faraone and Sofia Torallas (University of Chicago)

Friday, June 7th

Session 1 (Chair: C.A. Faraone):

4 PM: Jorunn Økland (Director): Welcome

4:10: Sofia Torallas (University of Chicago): “Introduction: The Curses in Context Project”

4:20: Jorge Bravo (University of Maryland), “Curse Tablets in the Shrines of Heroes—A Surprising Context?”

5:00-5:20: Coffee Break

5:20 Jutta Stroszeck (German Archaeological Institute, Kerameikos Excavation) “Curse Tablets from the Athenian Kerameikos: Context and Forms”

6:00: Anastasia Maravela (University of Oslo), “Eitrem Marginalia on Magic”

6:40 Leslie Threatte (University of California at Berkeley):

“In Memoriam David R. Jordan”

Reception and dinner for participants

Saturday, June 8th

Session 2 (Chair: Sofia Torallas, University of Chicago): Cursing in Ancient Athens

10:00: Sara Chiarini (Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg), “Individuality versus Formularity in the Attic Curses: A Diachronic Survey”

10:40: Jaime Curbera (Inscriptiones Graecae, Berlin), “The Curse Tablets in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens of Classical and Hellenistic Date”

11:20-11:50: Coffee Break

11:50: Athanassia Zografou (University of Ioannina), “Divine Assistance in Cursing: Hecate among the Superhuman Beings on the Greek Curse Tablets of the Classical and Hellenistic Period”

12:30: Roundtable Discussion

1:00-3:00 Lunch

Session 3 (Chair: Joseph Rife): Funerary Contexts 1

3:00: Evangelos Kroustalis (Ephorate of Antiquities in Piraeus), “Metics Katadoumenoi: A Group of Defixiones from the Ayios Dionysios Cemetery in Piraeus”

3:40: Jessica Lamont (Yale University), “Binding Spells and Voodoo Dolls from the Cemeteries of Classical Attica”

4:20-4:40: Coffee Break

Session 4 (Chair: Richard Gordon, University of Erfurt): Funerary Contexts 2 4:40: Theodore Eliopoulos (Ephorate of Antiquities, Athens), “The Lead Curse Tablets and Effigies from the Kynosarges Cemetery, Athens” 5:20: Joseph Rife (Vanderbilt University), “Curses Tablets in the Corinthian Graves”  6:00-7:00: Roundtable Discussion8:30: Dinner for participants

Sunday, June 9th

Session 5 (Chair: Korshi Dosoo, University of Wurzburg): Curse Tablets on the Periphery:

10:00: Christopher A. Faraone (University of Chicago), “Artemisia’s Curse at the Memphite Serapeum as a Hellenistic Prayer for Justice”

10:40: Irene Polinskaya (Kings College London), “Olbian Curses in Context”

11:20-11:40: Coffee Break

Session 6 (Chair: Anastasia Maravela): Cursing in Magna Graecia:

11:40: Thea Sommerschield (Oxford University), “The Selinunte Defixiones as Evidence for Epigraphic Literacy and Western Sicilian Identities”

12:20: Camilla Campedelli (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften), “From East to West: the Spread of Defixiones in Sicily, Southern Italy, and Rome”

1:00 Roundtable Discussion and Lunch