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Roman Voodoo Doll

roman voodoo dol

A Voodoo doll is a doll type made to resemble a person to cast spells on them or to harm them by harming the doll. In ancient times, Voodoo dolls were placed especially in tombs, homes, holy places, and wetlands. The Athenian philosopher Plato mentioned that dolls were displayed at points where three roads met, on doors and on graves. Dolls were often associated with curse tablets in that they were often inscribed with the name of the curse victim. They were often represented as bound and twisted into violent positions. Also, some voodoo dolls were crafted specifically for erotic attraction shells depicting a male and female in an erotic position.

The below image is of a Greco-Roman nude female Voodoo doll in a kneeling position, bound and pierced with thirteen pins. The effigy was placed in the clay pot with a lead scroll containing a ‘binding spell’, a kind of love spell written in Greek. It was discovered in Egypt and purchased by the Louvre Museum in 1911. It is dated to the 4th century.

Roman Voodoo Doll

The spell invoked all the spirits of the dead and the gods of the underworld to bind a woman (Ptolemais) to an infatuated man (Sarapommôn). It prevented her from eating, sleeping, having sex, or even leaving her house. 

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