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On secret paths – dark spells in Aquincum

“There is no one, too, who does not dread being spell-bound by means of evil imprecations.”, mentioned Pliny the Elder almost two thousand years ago. Romans were not secured against evil spells in Pannonia either as it was suggested by the three engraved lead curse tablets which were found recently hidden in a dug ditch around Roman graves in Óbuda.

The exhibition presents this special dark side of magic, the illegal and destructive sorcery as well as the magical protective amulets used by people to keep malefic forces away.

Curse tablets were essential tools of destructive magical practices, just like the three lead tablets from Aquincum which are presented to the public for the first time.

Against natural or supernatural threats several magical protective tools were used in the Roman period. These objects are also presented in detail. One can see jewelry made from gold, bronze, animal bone, stone and amber as well as tiny amulet capsules which housed papyrus fragments, or metal sheets with engraved magical signs and formulae.

The exhibition includes a reconstructed Roman magician’s workshop fully equipped with the essential tools, like the secret ingredients, magical substances, and collection of magical recipes.

The special note of the exhibition is given by the illustrations of the famous Hungarian comic book artist, Dávid Cserkuti. These present the conflict imagined and reconstructed partially from one of the three curse tablets from Aquincum.

The exhibition will be open until 31 December 2017

For the catalogue in English please click here.