Aethiopica (Greek: Αἰθιοπικά) (The Ethiopian Story) or Theagenes and Chariclea (Greek: Θεαγένης καὶ Χαρίκλεια) is an ancient Greek romance or adventure novel written in the 3rd or 4th century of the Common Era, and attributed to Heliodorus of Emesa. It tells of how the Ethiopian princess Chariclea and the Greek adventurer Theagenes escaped numerous brushes with danger in Egypt and other countries.
Aethiopica in "Suffer a Sorceress"[edit | edit source]
The Aithiopika of Heliodoros contained a ritual to control the spirits of the dead. In 1118, Princess Anna Komnene consulted this work for this purpose, albeit to control a living man: her father Emperor Alexios, who was nearing death. Anna hoped to magically persuade Alexios to disinherit her brother Prince John as his successor, in favor of her husband Nikephoros Bryennios.
Her copy of the Aithopika contained an artist's miniature of an idyllic outdoor scene in Egypt. After performing a blood ritual, Anna found her astral body transported into a lifelike simulacrum of this illustration, where a crocodile entered the River Nile and swam away. Incongruously, the scene also included a hedgehog, which was not in the illustration.