Episode 20 - Oh, Curses!

Halloween may be over, but Anna and Amber are keeping it spooky as they discuss curses and their consequences this week. Anna shares some tactics for recovering stolen tunics at Aquae Sulis (Bath, England), and what perils awaited medieval Javanese wrongdoers. Meanwhile, Amber looks at a ritual executioner from Australia, his highly collectible shoes, his supernatural counterpart, and the very real deaths that result from his work.

To learn more about today’s subject, check out:

The Curse of King Tut: Facts & Fable (Live Science)

Getting Even in Roman Britain: The Curse Tablets from Bath (Aquae Sulis) (Folklore Thursday)

A Brief History of Bath, England (Local Histories)

Roman Inscriptions of Britain

Adams, Geoff W. “The Social and Cultural Implications of Curse Tablets [Defixiones] in Britain and on the Continent.” Studia Humanoria Tartuensia 7A, no 5. (2006):8-10.

Cousins, Eleri H. “Votive Objects and Ritual Practice at the King’s Spring at Bath.” TRAC 2013: Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, London 2013. Ed. Hannah Platts, Caroline Barron, Jason Lundock, John Pearce, and Justin Yoo. Philadelphia, PA: Oxbow, 2014. 52-64.

Cunliffe, Barry, and Peter Davenport, eds. The Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath: The Site. Volume 1 of the Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath. Oxford: OUCA, 1985.

—. The Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath: The Finds from the Sacred Spring. Volume 2 of the Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath. Oxford: OUCA, 1988.

Fagan, Garrett G. Bathing in Public in the Roman World. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2005.

Henig, Martin. Religion in Roman Britain. London: Batsford, 1984.

Ireland, Stanley. Roman Britain: A Sourcebook. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Ogden, Daniel. Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Tomlin, R.S.O. “Voices from the Sacred Spring.” Bath History. Vol. 4. Ed. Trevor Facett. Bath, United Kingdom: Millstream, 1992.

Versnel, H.S. “Prayers for justice, east and west: Recent finds and publications since 1990. ” Magical practice in the Latin West: Papers from the international from the international conference held at the University of Zaragoza, 30 Sept.-1 Oct. 2005. Ed. by R.L. Gordon and Marco Simon. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Indigenous Australia Timeline - 1500 to 1900 (Australia Museum)

A rare and unusual West Australia Aboriginal ritual kit (Bonhams)

Late 19th-Century Australian Aboriginal Artifacts (Antiques Roadshow)

The Native Tribes of Central Australia (University of Adelaide)

Death and sorcery (Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology)

Here be Kurdaitcha: Towards an Ethnography of the Monstrous in the Margins of a Central Australian Aboriginal Town (Academia.edu)

Places and Spaces of Monstrosity (Academia.edu)

‘Dreamings’ and place – Aboriginal monsters and their meanings (The Conversation)

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Viriginia

Jan van Den Veerdonk. (2001). Curses in Javanese royal inscriptions from the Singhasari-Majapahit period, AD 1222-1486. Bijdragen Tot De Taal, 157(1), 97-112.

Photo credit: Singhasari inscription (not a curse!) in Old Javanese, via Wilwatikta Online Museum.