The practice of magic in antiquity is an interesting manipulation of nature. I had never considered that magic is a way of dominating nature. However, it makes sense. Casting spells, in theory, can change people and nature. I thought it was particularly interesting that in antiquity magic was often seen as a malevolent force. Witches were often viewed with suspicion, and magic was used to curse other people or for other nefarious purposes. I wonder if magic was viewed in a negative light because it was interfering with nature or for some other reason.

Magic in antiquity and its interaction with love is also connected to manipulation with a negative connotation. Heroes such as Odysseus were enchanted into falling in love, with some detrimental consequences. Magic could induce love with charms, and I think it is interesting that Professor O’Neill pointed out that today we still use words such as ‘charming’ or ‘enchanting’ to describe attractive people. Love can be viewed as a sort of manipulation of people’s senses, or a sort of magical manipulation of nature. Magic is a powerful way for people to interact with nature because it is actively working to influence the outcomes of human interactions.