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Daughters of HecateWomen and Magic in the Ancient World$
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Kimberly B. Stratton and Dayna S. Kalleres

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342703.001.0001

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Interrogating the Magic–Gender Connection

Interrogating the Magic–Gender Connection

(p.1) 1 Interrogating the Magic–Gender Connection
Daughters of Hecate

Kimberly B. Stratton

Oxford University Press

This chapter surveys the history of scholarship on women and magic in antiquity to the early modern witch-hunts in order to situate the contributions of this volume in a broad theoretical conversation. This chapter divides theoretical explanations for the frequent gendering of magic into five categories, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Finally, evidence that men constituted the majority of accused witches or magicians in certain times and places serves to challenge universalizing theories and raises questions about scholarly presuppositions that bias the interpretive process in favor of a gender-based explanation. This chapter complicates the relationship between gender and magic, providing an appropriate theoretical introduction for the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   witches, witch-hunts, magic, women, gender

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