Celia Sánchez Natalías
Aquatic Spaces as Contexts for Depositing defixiones in the Roman West
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The aim of this paper is to focus on the deposition of curse tablets in aquatic spaces, such as rivers, seas, fountains, or wells. This broad context has been traditionally treated as if it was a straight forward, coherent and confined category that was wholly separate from the other contexts in which defixiones were deposited. Nevertheless, the aquatic contexts are in reality among the most slippery to classify, not only because they intersect with other contexts, but also because the coherence of this category depends on the cultural meaning with which practitioners endowed it. By analysing the archaeological record from the Roman West, I argue that most of these contexts are often much better understood as sacred spaces, which were thought to be especially conducive to communicate with the invoked deities.