Books by Philip Matyszak

 Home

 

 About the Author

 Forthcoming titles

 In other words

 Maty recommends

 Maty's blog

 Contact

Ancient Magic
Ancient Magic
A Practitioner's Guide to the Supernatural in Greece and Rome

Thames & Hudson (14 February 2019)

An accessible historical exploration of the methods and motivations behind using magic in ancient Greece and Rome.

In the ancient world, magic was everywhere. The supernatural abounded, turning flowers into fruit and caterpillars into butterflies. In a time before scientists studied weather patterns and figured out what caused the Earth’s most mysterious phenomena, it was magic that packed a cloud full of energy until it exploded with thunderbolts. It was everyday magic, but it was still magical.

In Ancient Magic, author Philip Matyszak ushers readers into that world, showing how ancient Greeks and Romans concocted love potions and cast curses, how they talked to the dead and protected themselves from evil spirits. He takes readers to a world where gods interacted with humans and where people could not only talk to spirits and deities, but could themselves become divine.

Ancient Magic presents us with a new understanding of the role of magic, combining a classical historiography with a practical how-to guide. Using a wide array of sources and lavish illustrations, this book offers an engaging and accessible way into the supernatural for all.

24 Hours in Ancient Athens
24 Hours in Ancient Athens
A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There

Michael O'Mara (18 April 2019)

Athens, 416 BC. A tenuous peace holds. The city-state's political and military might are feared throughout the ancient world; it pushes the boundaries of social, literary and philosophical experimentation in an era when it has a greater concentration of geniuses per capita than at any other time in human history. Yet even geniuses go to the bathroom, argue with their spouse and enjoy a drink with friends.

Few of the city's other inhabitants enjoy the benefits of such a civilized society, though - as multicultural and progressive as Athens can be, many are barred from citizenship. No, for the average person, life is about making ends meet, whether that be selling fish, guarding the temple or smuggling lucrative Greek figs.

During the course of a day we meet 24 Athenians from all strata of society - from the slave-girl to the councilman, the vase painter to the naval commander, the housewife to the hoplite - and get to know what the real Athens was like by spending an hour in their company. We encounter a different one of these characters every chapter, with each chapter forming an hour in the life of the ancient city. We also get to spy on the daily doings of notable Athenians through the eyes of regular people as the city hovers on the brink of the fateful war that will destroy its golden age.

Admin