It is known that some defixiones were aimed at blocking or freezing a person’s tongue in order to prevent him from speaking against the practitioner. The opposite phenomenon is less well known, that is rituals which were supposed to give to a human tongue the power of persuading, uttering prophecies, tell- ing the truth, or making other prodigies. In several cases, the tongue itself was magically enabled to utter certain wondrous words, in other cases the whole head or the entire body was supposed to be empowered to perform excep- tional deeds, while in yet other cases the magical objects gave power to the soul of a deceased person or even to a sacrificed animal. The mouth and the tongue were objects of different kinds of magic and one cannot simply sup- pose that they were always manipulated in the same way and for the same pur- pose. On the contrary, magical enactments concerning these parts of the body were many and various, depending for their goals and means on the different purposes of the practitioners.
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