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 Necromancers

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Ian
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PostSubject: Necromancers   Sun 27 Jan 2008, 5:00 am

I have been reading up on a few definitions. Divination is a method of obtaining unknown knowledge. Necromancy is a form of divination through communicating with the dead. Therefore, does this make everyone who uses Oui Ja boards, all spiritualists and anyone on a vigil who says "Is there anybody there?" a Necromancer?
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Necromancers   Sun 27 Jan 2008, 8:48 am

You are absolutely right Ian.
Nekros = the Dead Manteia = the Art of Divination Nekromanteia = The Art of Divination through the Dead . My classical studies are finally paying dividens.
The traditional meaning is very clearly exemplified by the Witch of Endor summoning the soul of the prophet Samuel at King Saul's bidding. Samuel prophesizes that Saul will be defeated and killed by the Philistines and so it happens.
So technically when we are attending a seance and we ask a spirit insight about the future we are technically using Necromancy.
H.P. Lovecraft, being well read in classic literature, had the "necromancy ring" in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward doing exactly this: summoning the dead back to land of living, giving them a body (so they can fell pain and be tortured, of course) to steal their secrets.
More recently, especially in horror literature, it has taken a more sinister meaning but this doesn't concern us.
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PostSubject: Re: Necromancers   Sun 27 Jan 2008, 11:22 am

Who sad the art of Necromancy was dead Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Necromancers   Sun 27 Jan 2008, 4:17 pm

Mauro wrote:

H.P. Lovecraft, being well read in classic literature, had the "necromancy ring" in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward doing exactly this: summoning the dead back to land of living, giving them a body (so they can fell pain and be tortured, of course) to steal their secrets.
More recently, especially in horror literature, it has taken a more sinister meaning but this doesn't concern us.

It's been so long since I read that story; I'll have to get back to it some day. I wonder, Could Dr West be classified as a necromancer?


Aside from this, shamefully, the only necromancy I ever came across when I was younger was one leading a 2,000 point army of Undead... Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Necromancers   Mon 28 Jan 2008, 1:44 am

Quote :
Aside from this, shamefully, the only necromancy I ever came across when I was younger was one leading a 2,000 point army of Undead...

We are probably more alike than I am willing to admit Embarassed. I think now in popular fantasy a necromancy is certainly regarded as a sinister chap who can raise the dead and is generally evil. Even Sauron from Lord f the Rings was known as the Necromancer of Dol Guldur.
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PostSubject: Re: Necromancers   Mon 28 Jan 2008, 2:04 am

I think Tolkien was the first one to use the term "Necromancer" in the more widespread meaning used today but I could be wrong.
As with the term "Satanism" the word changed of meanings at least three times during its history.
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PostSubject: Re: Necromancers   Mon 28 Jan 2008, 5:43 am

Mauro wrote:
I think Tolkien was the first one to use the term "Necromancer" in the more widespread meaning used today but I could be wrong.
As with the term "Satanism" the word changed of meanings at least three times during its history.

Tolkein was certainly the first one to use a LOT of terms widely used in our modern fantasy universe- seeing as fantasy has essentially taken over as the "new folklore".

Orcs- a type of large "goblinoid"; the term really first used by him (before I'm sure it was the tradition name for a pig or boar??). He said himself his orcs were basically large hobgoblins.

Elves- Well elves were around before, but he essentially brought them back from the small green chap to the traditional Celtic "faerie". But the segregation into "High Elves, Wood Elves and Dark Elves" features here! As does their high sense of morals, loyalty and nobility.

Dragons- need I say more? Now a very clever and wicked beast, but some can be noble protectors.

The enmity between Elves and Dwarves- now a staple in modern fantasy (probably represents some sort of antagonism between the Celtic folk and the Nordic folk)

A definite line drawn between good and evil. No grey areas which featured regularly in traditional folk stories.

Werewolves and vampires feature as supernatural races, instead of demons in scary stories.

Comedy relief sidekicks (Merry and Pippin) and animal protectors (Huan the great hound) became popular.

And of course; the big, daunting quest, where the fate of the world rests upon one unlikely individual- before it tended to be that the hero went in search of wealth and glory.

These are all now staples of the fantasy genre, and have both good and bad consequences. I always feel that Howard's Conan stories tend to be more akin to traditional folk tales. Even they contain Necromancers, if I recall correctly. Mostly hailing form the decadent and twisted civilisation of Stygia.
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