The following paragraph was added on 19 Oct 2005 by an anonymous user from an IP address with a history of vandalism to Wikipedia. While I have no evidence that this information is untrue, I was not able to personally verify it in the time I have available. Given the concerns over the source, I thought it best to pull from the article for now. Please cite your sources before adding it back. Thanks. Rossami (talk) 22:08, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Over three hundred curse tablets have been recovered in Great Britain alone, especially at religious sites such as Aquae Sulis. The name of the offender, if it was known, was inscribed on a thin sheet of lead or pewter and dedicated to gods of the underworld. These gods were called on to punish the accused. Some curses were written backwards or padded with nonsense words to add to the mystery. Finally, the tablet was rolled or folded up and placed as an offering. About ninety curse tablets were found at Aquae Sulis.
Reading a book edited by John Gager entitled Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World it said that these tablets were not always used for curses. They were used to lay souls to rest and make people fall in love with the person administering the tablet. Another important aspect of the tablets is that they were not normally utilized by professional magoi they were used by commoners. Which makes them a vital source for understanding Greco-Roman society's use of magic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicoya730 (talk • contribs) 00:52, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Why does this entry list the name of the "acknowledged world expert" on Greek-language curse tablets? Is this necessary or desirable information to have? Bigturtle 15:56, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I added the historiography section to able to discuss the importance of studying the use of magic as whole not just what curse tablets were. People in ancient times could not see or pathom things that were beyond what was in front of their eyes. They had hopes and dreams and they wanted control over them and magic was the medium through which they felt they could have control. 13 December 2007 I added the information about debate about erotic magic because it is the area of magic that has one of the highest amount of defixios written.
I added some information about the erotic magic spells that were on the curse tablets because there was no information on the spells themselves. The historiography on these spells needed a little more detail. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Devlinkdh (talk • contribs) 21:34, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
John Gager's book Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World, brings up an excellent point. Why are curse tablets using matrilineal descent in identifying the person being cursed? Especially, when so much feminine scholarship is concerned with why women are accused as witches. (Gager, 14)Gager also brings up the fact, scholars like Roger Tomlin, have begun researching whether or not curse tablets actually worked; or at least why the people using them belived them to work? (Gager, 23)
The whole section needs work. An example of sloppy work in a paragraph from this section:
There is debate over whether the use of curse tablets for erotic spells was strictly a male practice, or if both sexes took up the art. Scholars have debated the possible motivations for using erotic magic, including unrequited love, sexual control of the “victim”, financial gain, and social advancement. The love spells used were similar in design around the Mediterranean world, and could be adjusted to different situations, users and intended victims. Recent scholarship has shown that women used curse tablets for erotic magic much more than originally thought, although they were still in a minority.
How can wiki assert that women have been shown to have used curse tablets (last sentence above paragraph) whilst at the same time asserting that there is still debate? The whole section needs tidying and better citations. There actually is no debate now, evidence has been found. Anaktoria (talk) 01:01, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Curse tablet found in archives in Bologna
Not sure how to include this, but it's here if someone wants to. Waugh, Rob (23 May 2012). "'Black magic' curse inscribed onto ancient stone tablet calling on the 'mother of witches' to bind victim found hidden in museum". Daily Mail.
Stone tablets hidden in the Museum of Bologna's archives may contain a terrible, ancient curse calling a devil-goddess to bind and torment a named victim. The tablets were hidden in the archives for nearly a century - thought to have been put aside at the start of World War I - and rediscovered in 2009. The tablets are believed to be 1600 years old. Now a translation has revealed the dark purpose of the slabs - calling a snake-shrouded figure to 'bind' a man who is mummified with his hands tied. He is named as 'Porcellus.' --Auric (talk) 13:34, 26 May 2012 (UTC)