Ancient Greek & Roman Witches

Essay Question: What are some of the characteristics of a Greco-Roman witch? Do Greek and Roman witches differ from each-other in literature? Were Medea and Circe witches?
– I would like the essay to argue that Medea and Circe are witches.

Essay Guidelines:
– Each essay should be about 1500 words, NOT including footnotes unless they contain extra sentences of discussion.
– Students should select and discuss specific ancient literary and/or archaeological evidence which helps to answer the chosen question, and engage with the modern scholarship which is listed in the tutorial’s essential and recommended readings list (scroll down for the list of sources)

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ATTACHED DOCUMENTS:
– A guide to what the referencing should look like under “Classics UGrad Referencing Guide”
– A sample of what my essay should look like under “Sample Essay”
– Aim for ~10 Ancient Sources and ~15 Modern Sources
– A list of extra Ancient Sources for my topic under “Ancient Sources”

Criteria & Marking:
Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:
1. Ability to construct a well-reasoned argument.
2. Depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding of central issues.
3. Ability to form a well-structured essay.
4. Engagement with academic sources and evidence.
5. Insight and/or creativity in interpreting texts or constructing a point of view or argument.
6. Capacity to produce a coherent and well-written essay using correct grammar and syntax.
7. Appropriately referenced, as per discipline conventions.

To achieve a grade of 7 (High Distinction, 85-100%), your essay should reflect an exceptional level of achievement. It should demonstrate that you have undertaken extensive, high-level research, that you are able to form a very rigorous, well-organised argument, and that your discussion is original and creative. It should also demonstrate that you are able to evaluate and organise data and/or evidence in a critical manner and that you have a sophisticated and insightful understanding of problems and issues. Your essay should be very well written, clear and concise, pay strict attention to discipline conventions and have minimal, if any errors in referencing, expression, grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Essay Sources:

Essential Reading (HAVE TO BE INCLUDED IN ESSAY):
Euripides’ Medea
Homer’s Odyssey. Book 10.
Ovid’s Heroides 12.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Books 7 and 14.
+ Watson, L. 2019. ‘Fictional Witches,’ in Magic in Ancient Greece and Rome. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 167-202.

Recommended Reading:
Ancient Sources:
Apuleius’ Metamophoses 1.
Horace’s Satires 1.8, 2.1, 2.8; Epodes 3, 5, 17.
Seneca’s Medea.
Theocritus’ Idyll 2.

Modern Sources:
Dickie, M. W. 2001. Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World. London: Routledge.
Edmonds, R. G. 2019. Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Frankenfurter, D. ed. 2019. Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic. Leiden: Brill.
Gordon, R. 2009. ‘’Magic as a Topos in Augustan Poetry”: Discourse, Reality and Distance’. ARG 11.1: 209–228.
Levack, B. P. ed. 1992. Witchcraft in the Ancient World and the Middle Ages. New York: Garland.
Montesano, M. 2018. Classical Culture and Witchcraft in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 11-66.
Ogden, D. 2002. Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ogden, D. 2008. Night’s Black Agents: Witches, Wizards and the Dead in the Ancient World. London/New York: Hambledon Continuum.
Paule, M. T. 2014. ‘QVAE SAGA, QVIS MAGVS: On the Vocabulary of the Roman Witch’, The Classical Quarterly 64.2, pp. 745-757.
Paule, M. T. 2017. Canidia, Rome’s First Witch. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Stratton, K.B. 2007. Naming the Witch: Magic, Ideology, and Stereotype in the Ancient World. New York.
Stratton, K.B. and D.S. Kalleres, eds. 2014. Daughters of Hecate: Women and Magic in the Ancient World. New York.
Watson, L. 2019. Magic in Ancient Greece and Rome. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

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