Part I General

Magic in the Ancient Novel


  • Consuelo Ruiz-Montero


This paper discuss the presence of magic in the ancient novel by ordering the texts into three groups: (i) papyrus fragments and texts from indirect trans­mission; (ii) incidental allusions to magic in the novels; and (iii) episodes or tales focusing on magic. In the latter group, the “novella” of Nectanebo in the Historia Alexandri Magni is studied by comparing the text of recension A with the Greek magical papyri. Their similarities reflect a deep, perhaps “real”, knowledge of magic. Finally, we try to answer questions such as by whom, when, where and for whom the Historia was written.

Consuelo Ruiz-Montero is Professor of Greek Philology in the University  of Murcia. She has written widely on the Greek novels and on Greek rhetoric.