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Adelard of Bath

Adelard of Bath  

(c.1070–c.1145)English Benedictine remembered as a conduit for the introduction of Arabic astronomy and philosophy to the West.
African mythology

African mythology  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
As in the case of Asian or European mythology, to speak of African mythology is to speak of many mythologies, reflecting the understandings and priorities of various social groups, tribes ...
African religion

African religion  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
No single religion corresponds to the term ‘African religion’, nor could it. The geography of Africa ranges from rain forests to uninhabitable deserts; its peoples are organized in many different ...
Afro-Brazilian cults

Afro-Brazilian cults  

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Religion
New (syncretist) religions based on survivals of African religions among the black slave population, originally in the north-east but now over most coastal areas and in southern cities. Some exhibit ...
Aion

Aion  

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(Αἰ̑ών) was for late antiquity the personification and god of indefinitely extending time. In early Greek αἰ̑ών means ‘life’ (often in the sense of ‘vital force’), ‘whole lifetime’, ‘generation’. It ...
alchemy

alchemy  

The medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.The term comes (in late ...
amulet

amulet  

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History
An ornament or small piece of jewellery thought to give protection against evil, danger, or disease. The word is recorded from the late 16th century; it comes from Latin, but is of unknown origin.
Anthropology of religion

Anthropology of religion  

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Religion
In the co-ordinating of anthropology as a discipline in the later 19th cent., the study was concerned with what were thought to be ‘primitive’ religions, i.e. those which were believed ...
Antonio Guaineri

Antonio Guaineri  

(1380s? d. after 1455) Pavian citizen, court physician, and university professor whose writings emphasize practice over theory and bear witness to contemporary social conditions.He studied at Padua ...
Apuleius

Apuleius  

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(born c.123 ad),Roman writer, born in Africa. His writings are characterized by an exuberant and bizarre use of language and he is best known for the Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), a picaresque ...
Arabic

Arabic  

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Religion
Arabic texts, mostly on papyrus but five on paper, have been discovered at two sites in the Judean desert. Over a hundred texts and fragments were discovered at Khirbet Mird ...
astrology

astrology  

The study of movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. Ancient observers of the heavens developed elaborate ...
Azazel

Azazel  

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Religion
On the Day of Atonement, a goat, on whom were laid the hands of the priest, was dispatched into the wilderness where Azazel, a demon, dwelt (Lev. 16: 8). This was the ritual of the scapegoat which ...
backwards

backwards  

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The notion that walking backwards is unlucky was occasionally noted in the mid-19th century from the Lancashire/Yorkshire area: ‘[Lancashire] children are frequently cautioned by their parents not to ...
Blessings and Curses

Blessings and Curses  

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Religion
The invocation to God to bestow goodness and happiness (the blessing) or to visit evil and suffering (the curse) upon others. There is no doubt that in both the Bible and the Rabbinic literature the ...
Bolus

Bolus  

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(RE 3, Suppl. 1),from Mendes in Egypt, contemporary of Callimachus (3) (3rd cent. bc.), a writer on magic and pharmacology. A work of his entitled On Sympathies and Antipathies ...
botany

botany  

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The scientific study of plants, including their anatomy, morphology, physiology, biochemistry, taxonomy, cytology, genetics, ecology, evolution, and geographical distribution.
Bronislaw Malinowski

Bronislaw Malinowski  

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(1884–1942)Polish-born British anthropologist who developed the functionalist approach to social anthropology, which sought to explain social phenomena in terms of their functional ...
Chaldean Oracles

Chaldean Oracles  

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These are conventionally attributed either to a certain Julian the Chaldaean, who is alleged to have flourished in the reign of Trajan, or to his son, Julian the Theurgist, who ...
charms (verbal)

charms (verbal)  

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Subject:
Religion
The etymology of the word ‘charm’ (from Latin carmen, ‘a chant’) shows that in medieval times it meant verbal formulas (see next entry), but in modern languages it is far more widely applied. All the ...

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