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King Ptolemy II of Egypt (r. 282 – 246 BC) was renowned for possessing the largest navy in the Eastern Mediterranean, and also for marrying his sister Arsinoë II, c. 279 BC. In a unique innovation, Queen Arsinoë II was also deified as the maritime Aphrodite, most likely to promote the Ptolemaic dynasty as a naval superpower. This talk examines how this new cult was commemorated in a series of epigrams by the Alexandrian poets Posidippus and Callimachus, and how this new ruler cult used existing traditions surrounding the maritime Aphrodite. Carlos is an MPhil candidate in the Discipline of Classics & Ancient History.
In the later half of the third century AD, a writer who considered himself to be well travelled, had a distrust of doctors, and if not a full copy of Pliny the Elder's Natural History had at least large swathes of its text from book twenty to thirty-seven, wrote a medical text for travellers. He combined Pliny's mostly folkloric advice with his own experiences and advice sourced from elsewhere to compose a text known today as the Medicina Plinii. This presentation will focus on treatments which we would describe today as magical in nature which were not derived from Pliny the Elder to see what they can inform us about what other material the author had access to and the nature of medical magic after the first century AD. As a result some of the material which will be discussed will include magical gems, papyrus amulets, ancient spells and demonology, and even Anglo-Saxon leechbooks (medical texts).