Death Sentence

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Guest » 12/14/06 07:43 AM

Folks,

A factoid from Panati's Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything and Everybody (1989). The oldest extant death sentence is contained in the Amherst papyri, dating to 1500 B.C., which list official state trials in Egypt.

The criminal was a teenage male. He was permitted to choose the mode of his death, either poisoning or stabbing. He was to be his own executioner. His crime was recorded simply as "magic".

Talk about a tough room!
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Postby Amos McCormick » 12/14/06 07:45 AM

I've heard of dying onstage, but I've never heard of being killed because you were onstage...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/14/06 09:01 AM

If it's listed as "magic," then he wasn't a magician in our sense of the word, but someone likely involved in black magic.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 12/14/06 09:43 AM

Scholars now agree that the correct translation is not "magic," but "magic dealer," and that the unfortunate victim's name was, "Ramses Al Busby."
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Postby Guest » 12/14/06 12:18 PM

Thank you Bob. Funniest post I've seen in a long time :)
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Postby Guest » 12/14/06 03:24 PM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Scholars now agree that the correct translation is not "magic," but "magic dealer," and that the unfortunate victim's name was, "Ramses Al Busby."
Is this proof of reincarnation?
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Postby Guest » 12/14/06 08:37 PM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
[b] Scholars now agree that the correct translation is not "magic," but "magic dealer," and that the unfortunate victim's name was, "Ramses Al Busby."
Is this proof of reincarnation? [/b]
No, I think Al is one of Jeff's ancestors.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/06 09:46 PM

O.k. Let's work this out logically:
--A teen-aged male magician in ancient Egypt put to death for his magic. What must THAT act have been like?

Here's how the act must have looked, if you were there, at the palace on the edge of the Nile, thousands of years ago...

He entered carrying a dapper walking stick with-which he momentarily danced before turning it into two snakes. This led into a nice ankh on snake routine with a borrowed ankh.

He did rocks across; torn and restored papyrus; multiplying dung-balls with multi-scarab climax; the old (even at that time) croc-in-the-reeds trick; sands of the desert...

That seems like a pretty tame line-up to me, of course much of our world is different than it was during ancient Egyptian times.

Unless he used inappropriately off-color humor in mixed company (as certain teen-aged magicians have been known to do at times, I hear) what trick could have possibly got him killed? [Historians suggest it may have been The Balducci levitation. Here's how the scene may have played out: "Aiiee!! He's soaring like a hawk 2" above the sand! He must be a witch! Kill him!!"]

Or, did he do the bra trick with Pharoah's daughter? --Did he blow an eclipse prediction? --Did his lips move when he was making the statue of Ra talk?

Any further scholarship will be greatly appreciated.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/06 10:13 PM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Scholars now agree that the correct translation is not "magic," but "magic dealer," and that the unfortunate victim's name was, "Ramses Al Busby."
No doubt disappointing the many subscribers to the coveted Ra-we Papyri...
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Postby Mark Collier » 12/14/06 10:49 PM

Well done, Castawaydave!
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 12:34 AM

He must have fumbled the final load on the cups and balls - complete with Gazzo's patter!

Jon
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 04:48 AM

By all accounts, he stood on top of Cleopatras needle for 8 days,and claimed it was magic.

It was ancient Egypt's version of being Cricified by the press.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 05:45 AM

Is that the same thing as being suspended in a plastic box above the ground....or trying to hold your breath for a long time...or maybe being suspended in a circle 5 stories above the ground??

Adrian
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 06:51 AM

the only time a magician gets suspended by the circle, is when he tells the secrets. :)
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 09:49 PM

He was killed because he was doing too many Pharaoh Shuffles in his act.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 12/15/06 11:42 PM

No, no, no...it was exposure. He painted the picture of the cups and balls on the wall of the tomb.
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Postby Guest » 12/22/06 03:28 AM

Originally posted by Jeff Haas:
No, no, no...it was exposure. He painted the picture of the cups and balls on the wall of the tomb.
Dedi realy?
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