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Behind the Crystal Ball

Magic, Science, and the Occult from Antiquity Through the New Age

Revised Edition

by Anthony Aveni

Paperback Price $29.95

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"[Mr. Aveni]'s not out to debunk . . . occult practices. Just the opposite: he argues that magic has had a bum rap through history . . . that 'deep down science and magic are perhaps more alike than we might care to admit.'"
—The New York Times Book Review

"For readers intrigued by the social contexts of such obscure quackery as hapatoscopy (divination of portents found in livers), [Aveni] crafts an engaging set of stories."


In this fascinating exploration of occult practice, Anthony Aveni takes the reader on a whirlwind tour through time and space to unveil the many ways people have used magic over the millennia in hopes of improving their lives. As Aveni persuasively argues, the ancients sought what we now search for through science and religion—a clearer picture of humanity's place in the cosmos.


Anthony Aveni is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies at Colgate University. He has researched and written about Maya astronomy for more than four decades. He was named a US National Professor of the Year and has been awarded the H. B. Nicholson Medal for Excellence in Research in Mesoamerican Studies by Harvard's Peabody Museum. 

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  • Paperback Price: $29.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87081-671-0
  • Publication Year: 2002
  • Pages: 408
  • Illustrations: 15 b&w photographs, 13 b&w illustrations, 1 table
  • Discount Type: Trade
  • Author: by Anthony Aveni
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87081-671-0
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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