The Evil Eye. An Account of this Ancient & Widespread Superstition
Publisher: John Murray
xii+472 pages with frontispiece, lithographs, figures (some folding), appendixes and index. Octavo (9" x 6") issued in red cloth with gilt lettering and vignette to spine and gilt pictorial on cover. From the library of George M Foster. First edition.
Belief in the evil eye during antiquity is based on the evidence in ancient sources like Aristophanes, Athenaeus, Plutarch, and Heliodorus. There are also speculations that claim Socrates possessed the evil eye and that his disciples and admirers were fascinated by Socrates' insistently glaring eyes. His followers were called Blepedaimones, which translates into demon look, not because they were possessors and transmitters of the evil eye, but because they were suspected of being under the hypnotic and dangerous spell of Socrates.In the Greco-Roman period a scientific explanation of the evil eye was common. Plutarch's scientific explanation stated that the eyes were the chief, if not sole, source of the deadly rays that were supposed to spring up like poisoned darts from the inner recesses of a person possessing the evil eye. Plutarch treated the phenomenon of the evil eye as something seemingly inexplicable that is a source of wonder and cause of incredulity.The belief in the evil eye during antiquity varied from different regions and periods. The evil eye was not feared with equal intensity in every corner of the Roman Empire. There were places in which people felt more conscious of the danger of the evil eye. In the Roman days not only were individuals considered to possess the power of the evil eye but whole tribes, especially those of Pontus and Scythia, were believed to be transmitters of the evil eye.The speed in the belief of the Evil Eye east is believed to have been propagated by the Empire of Alexander the Great, which spread this and other Greek ideas across his empire.
George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.
From the library of Professor George M Foster with his date of acquiry (3/28/58) on front paste down, lacks his stamp. Book plate of Isabella Teesdale on front paste down, point rubbed, some foxing to end papers else a very good copy issued without jacket.
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