The Russian Secret of Secrets and Patriarch Nikon’s Book Curse

  • W. F. Ryan
Keywords: Secret of secrets, Russia, book curse, Patriarch Nikon, classical inheritance


The topic of book curses has not hitherto been discussed in Incantatio and is often ignored in the wider literature on magic and magic charms, perhaps because it is neither folklore nor literature. Book curses can serve two purposes. The obvious one is to try to prevent the theft of books by terrifying potential thieves; the less obvious one is to attract readers or buyers with promises of secret or forbidden knowledge. In our article, we shall examin