Magic was important in the ancient world, but it’s unfortunately an aspect of culture that modern scholars often ignore of view as somewhat silly. I think that the fact that it was important to the ancients means that it’s an important part of understanding them. This article from the Expedition Magazine at the Penn Museum details magic for healing, protection, curses, etc. in the ancient world. Specifically, they deal with magic in Mesopotamia, Rome, Greece, and Egypt, and it’s great to see this information collected in one place. This is a great starting point for anyone who is studying the culture of the ancient world.