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by Archaeology Newsroom

Magic, Gender and Social Racism

The phenomenon of magic became the subject of study in the field of classical studies not before the early twentieth century, since its non-rational character did not match the Weltanschauung of the Western world after the Age of Enlightenment. Magic, as the reverse image of official religion, attracted those individuals who were unable to realise their wishes and desires through official religion, women, that is, and other outsiders. For this reason women and other members of fringe groups became victims of persecutions during periods of intolerance both in Europe and North America. Finally, witch-hunt contributed to the shattering of the few, mainly professional achievements of mediaeval women.