Arion 25 (1):99-126 (2017)

Alan Sumler
University of Colorado Denver
There are spells in the Greek and Demotic Magical Papyri which promise divine visitations, assistants, ecstatic states, vessel inquiries, and vivid dreams. They also require powerful psychoactive botanical ingredients. How did these spells work and what were the expectations of somebody purchasing them? Looking at the ingredients of visionary spells and relying on the pharmacology of Dioscorides and Theophrastus, I ascertain how these spells achieved the promised visions and altered states of consciousness for the user. These spells guarantee great spiritual and recreational entertainment to the client who would need an abundance of money to purchase the ingredients.
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