2 3 Superstitious Saturday Dancer’s Curse | Ballet Webb

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Superstitious Saturday Dancer’s Curse

Superstitious Saturday Dancer’s Curse

A 1500 year-old-tablet discovered in a theater in the early 1950s has finally been translated. It was unearthed by an Italian archaeological group in Israel, but until recently the writings on it were a mystery. The theater where it was found, Caesarea Maritima was originally built by King Herod the Great during the Roman Empire (see today's Link of the Day below).

Computer software finally allowed the enigmatic inscription on the tablet to be translated. Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) creates many photographs of an artifact from different angles and thus allows the image to be enhanced enough to be deciphered. What was found is fascinating.

Written in Greek, the tablet contains a curse, 110 lines long that is directed to a specific dancer named Manna. It was intended to damage his ability to perform well and states the he would “move slowly and lose his equilibrium” and also contained the phrase “tie the feet together”.

Curses like this were common in the Greco-Roman world, and the curse may have been designed so Manna would lose some sort of competition. Also, since the tablet was discovered in a theater, it may indicate that Manna was famous, or at least locally well-known.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Superstitious Secret #190:
“An ancient tablet was translated to reveal a dancer’s curse.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The writer's curse is that even in solitude, no matter its duration, he never grows lonely or bored.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

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