COINS AS A ELEMENTS OF MAGIC IN THE LIGHT OF ETHNOGRAPHIC SOURCES FROM THE AREA OF POLAND (Moneta jako przedmiot zabiegów magicznych w swietle zródel etnograficznych z obszaru Polski)
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Concept pertaining to the supernatural, magic and religious rites, time and again determined certain behaviours and activities thus constituting an inseparable part of the daily life of medieval people and in modern times. Similarly also the artefacts of material culture gradually became object of superstitions and magic practice. This phenomenon is plain to see in the case of coins. Two group of beliefs may be specified: coins carry a certain magic message meant to touch off definite results in the physical world, or they themselves are the object of sorcery and spells. Of considerable interest are the intentional incision to be found upon coins and early medieval silver, the so called graffiti, nicks, and pecks, along with traces of bending. The letter are to be seen on late medieval and modern coins. Usually they are interpreted as traces of practices meant to detect possible counterfeits. Ethnographical sources and - to a lesser extent - historical materials point out possibly different origins of those marks, i.e. magic measures. Similar common was the believe in harmful power of money, e.g. the so called inclusae, enchanted money, which - once having been spent - would always return to the owner together with the property of the person it had been passed to.
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