Den Magiske Isis - en komparativ studie av Isis i magiske tekster og litterære tekster fra Romerriket
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With this masters thesis I have tried to explore to what extent the Egyptian goddess Isis was associated with magic. By looking at magic formulas from Papyri Graecae Magicae (PGM) and other written sources I have conducted a comparison between them as to how they view Isis. I have limited the period of time to the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD for both the magic formulas and the other written sources. This is the period when emperor of Rome was also the emperor of Egypt, which means that the Roman way of life and their laws would have been in force in Egypt. One of the research questions I have tried to answer is to what extent the Roman view and the Egyptian view of Isis corresponds, and if magic is the most important aspect of her in this period.
The other written sources I have analyzed are Sextus Propertius, Ovid, Josephus, Plutarch, Juvenal, Lucian, Apuleius, and Firmicus Maternus. I have only used excerpts from them to narrow the thesis down. By looking at which words they use to describe Isis, I have tried to perceive their view of her and then compare their views with the words used to describe Isis in the magic formulas. In the third chapter, which is a background chapter, there is also a discussion about definitions of the concept magic and difficulties you may find when trying to define this concept. The fourth chapter is an analysis of the magical formulas and a comparison of them. The fifth chapter is the analysis of the other written sources, and the sixth chapter is the comparison between chapters four and five.