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curious arts

curious arts in the Bible

(Acts 19:19), magical arts; jugglery practised by the Ephesian conjurers. Ephesus was noted for its wizard and the "Ephesian spells;" i.e., charms or scraps of parchment written over with certain formula, which were worn as a safeguard against all manner of evils. The more important and powerful of these charms were written out in books which circulated among the exorcists, and were sold at a great price.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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