What Was Magic in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, magic was an integral part of their culture and religion. The Greeks believed that magic could be used for both good and evil purposes. It was believed that there were certain individuals who possessed the power to perform magic, and their abilities were highly respected.

What is Magic?

Magic in ancient Greece referred to the use of supernatural powers or forces to achieve a desired outcome. This could be anything from healing an illness to bringing success in battle. The Greeks believed that magic was a way of tapping into the divine powers that governed the universe.

The Different Types of Magic

There were several different types of magic practiced in ancient Greece. Some of these included:

  • Dream Magic – The Greeks believed that dreams could be used to communicate with the gods and gain insight into future events.
  • Necromancy – This involved summoning and communicating with spirits of the dead.
  • Oracles – These were individuals who had the ability to communicate with the gods and provide guidance on important matters.

The Role of Magicians

Magicians played an important role in ancient Greek society. They were highly respected individuals who possessed special abilities that allowed them to perform miraculous feats. Magicians were often sought out for their services, which included healing, divination, and protection against evil spirits.

The Use of Spells

Spells were an essential part of ancient Greek magic. These spells could be used for a variety of purposes, including love spells, protection spells, and curses. The Greeks believed that by using specific words and rituals, they could tap into supernatural powers and achieve their desired outcomes.

The Dark Side of Magic

While magic was often used for good purposes in ancient Greece, it also had a dark side. Some individuals used magic to harm others, such as by casting curses or using necromancy to summon evil spirits. These individuals were often feared and ostracized by society.

The Decline of Magic

As Greece became more influenced by Christianity, the practice of magic began to decline. The Christian church viewed magic as a form of heresy and actively worked to suppress it. By the medieval period, magic had largely disappeared from Greece.


In ancient Greece, magic was a powerful force that played an important role in their culture and religion. While it was often used for good purposes, it also had a dark side that could be used to harm others. Today, the legacy of ancient Greek magic lives on in our modern conception of witches and wizards.