Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - The Quiz -

The tri­als and tribu­la­tions of Bri­tish author J.K. Rowl­ing’s boy wizard Harry Pot­ter were first pub­lished 20 years ago, but the history of the word “magic” goes back thousands to the birth of Je­sus Christ. And per­haps even a lit­tle fur­ther back. The Gospel of Matthew tells of three wise men – Magi, Per­sian priests of the Zoroas­trian re­li­gion who liked to wan­der. The word, which has Latin and Greek roots, was linked to sor­cery in an­cient times. It took on its more com­mon mean­ing – “to use or ma­nip­u­late su­per­nat­u­ral pow­ers for a spe­cific pur­pose” in the 14th cen­tury.

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