How to Bewitch Someone: Bewitching Techniques According to Incantations in the Hittite and Luwian Ritual Texts

Laura Puértolas Rubio

The purpose of this paper is to examine Anatolian religious discourses about witchcraft according to anti-witchcraft incantations in the Hittite and Luwian languages. The importance of this testimony resides in its uniqueness, given that no witchcraft rituals have been preserved from the Hittite kingdom. Consequently, these anti-witchcraft incantations constitute the most direct evidence about bewitching techniques. Through philological and contextual analysis, I will examine first the process of bewitchment, for which there was a great variety of techniques available to the bewitcher. Examples include the manipulation of anthropomorphic figurines representing the bewitched, rites of analogical magic, and curses. Second, I will address the different manners in which these anti-witchcraft texts describe witchcraft, showing the specificities of distinct local traditions and the variety of the ways in which ancient Anatolians conceived of witchcraft.

Laura Puértolas Rubio is a PhD candidate at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV).
Full Bibliographic Reference

Puértolas Rubio L. 2019, How to Bewitch Someone: Bewitching Techniques According to Incantations in the Hittite and Luwian Ritual Texts, SMEA NS 5, 59-70.

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KEYWORDS

witchcraft; religious discourse; curses; ancient Anatolia; anti-witchcraft
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