Epipompē

Greek Examples | Latin Examples | Sanskrit Examples | Other Examples | Bibliography

In most of the exorcisms recorded in the Gospels, Jesus simply drove demons away from the possessed (apopompē, "sending away"). But at Gadara (or Gerasa or Gergesa), Jesus drove the demons into a herd of pigs (epipompē, "sending to or against"). Matthew 8.30-32 (par. Mark 5.11-13; Luke 8.32-33):

And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Richard Wünsch first used the terms apopompē and epipompē to describe these two different ways of banishing evil in "Zur Geisterbannung im Altertum," Festschrift zur Jahrhundertfeier der Universität zu Breslau = Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde 13-14 (1911) 9-32.

Jesus performed the exorcism by epipompē in pagan territory, the Decapolis, and it so happens that there are numerous examples of epipompē in pagan literature, usually in the context of a prayer.

Eduard Fraenkel, Horace (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), pp. 410-411, described the belief that underlies the most primitive form of epipompē:

This type of prayer is based on a widespread and very ancient belief. If a daemon or god is bent on harming you -- and in the early days, before the gods became humanized, that seems to have been their favorite occupation -- it will do you little good if you just cry out 'spare me' (pheidou, parce). You have to do that as a matter of form, but if you are wise you will add some more effective bait. If you are able to point to a really attractive substitute, then, perhaps, you may succeed in diverting the god from his original object, from you and yours. An obvious candidate for such a substitute is an enemy, either your country's or a personal one; but if you do not want to be so specific, you may be content with asking the daemon to prey on 'others'.
There is a good example of this primitive form of epipompē in a Vedic charm against fever, Atharvaveda 5.22.6-7 (tr. Ralph Griffith):
Fever, snake, limbless one, speak out! Keep thyself far away from us.
  Seek thou a wanton Dāst girl and strike her with thy thunderbolt.
Go, Fever, to the Mūjavans, or, farther, to the Bahlikas.
  Seek a lascivious Sara girl and seem to shake her through and through.
In another form of epipompē, you don't address the personified evil itself, but rather you ask one of the gods who are good at averting evil to cast it on someone else. This is what we see, for example, in an Orphic hymn to Artemis (36.14-17):
Come savior goddess, dear one, propitious to all your initiates, bringing good fruits from the earth and beloved Peace and fair-tressed Health; but may you send to mountain tops diseases and pains.

ἐλθέ, θεὰ σώτειρα, φίλη, μύστῃσιν ἅπασιν
εὐάντητος, ἄγουσα καλοὺς καρποὺς ἀπὸ γαίης
εἰρήνην τ' ἐρατὴν καλλιπλόκαμον θ' ὑγίειαν·
πέμποις δ' εἰς ὀρέων κεφαλὰς νούσους τε καὶ ἄλγη.

What follows is a collection of examples of epipompē, mostly drawn from Greek and Latin sources. For many of the examples I am indebted to the scholarly works listed in the bibliography.

Greek Examples

Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1568-1573 (tr. Herbert Weir Smyth, Clytemnestra is speaking):

As for me, however, I am willing to make a sworn compact with the Fiend of the house of Pleisthenes that I will be content with what is done, hard to endure though it is. Henceforth he [the Fiend] shall leave this house and bring tribulation upon some other race by murder of kin.

                                ἐγὼ δ' οὖν
ἐθέλω δαίμονι τῷ Πλεισθενιδᾶν
ὅρκους θεμένη τάδε μὲν στέργειν,
δύστλητά περ ὄνθ'· ὃ δὲ λοιπόν, ἰόντ'
ἐκ τῶνδε δόμων ἄλλην γενεὰν
τρίβειν θανάτοις αὐθένταισι.

Aeschylus, Suppliant Women 524-530 (tr. Herbert Weir Smyth):

Lord of lords, most blessed among the blessed, power most perfect among the perfect, O Zeus, all-happy, hearken to us and from thy offspring ward off in utter abhorrence the lust of men, and in the purple sea whelm their black-benched pest!

ἄναξ ἀνάκτων, μακάρων
μακάρτατε καὶ τελέων
τελειότατον κράτος, ὄλβιε Ζεῦ,
πιθοῦ τε καὶ γένει σῷ
ἄλευσον ἀνδρῶν ὕβριν εὖ στυγήσας.
λίμνᾳ δ' ἔμβαλε πορφυροειδεῖ
τὰν μελανόζυγ' ἄταν.

Appian, Civil Wars 5.10.96 (tr. Horace White):

When the fleet was ready, Octavius performed a lustration for it in the following manner. Altars were erected on the margin of the sea, and the multitude were ranged around them in ships, observing the most profound silence. The priests who performed the ceremony offered the sacrifice while standing at the water's edge, and carried the expiatory offerings in skiffs three times around the fleet, the general sailing with them, beseeching the gods to turn the bad omens against the victims instead of the fleet. Then, dividing the entrails, they cast a part of them into the sea, and put the remainder on the altars and burned them, while the multitude chanted in unison. In this way the Romans perform lustrations of the fleet.

Ἐπεὶ δ' ἕτοιμος ἦν ὁ στόλος, ἐκάθαιρεν αὐτὸν ὁ Καῖσαρ ὧδε. οἱ μὲν βωμοὶ ψαύουσι τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ ἡ πληθὺς αὐτοὺς περιέστηκε κατὰ ναῦν μετὰ σιωπῆς βαθυτάτης: οἱ δὲ ἱερουργοὶ θύουσι μὲν ἑστῶτες ἐπὶ τῇ θαλάσσῃ καὶ τρὶς ἐπὶ σκαφῶν περιφέρουσιν ἀνὰ τὸν στόλον τὰ καθάρσια, συμπεριπλεόντων αὐτοῖς τῶν στρατηγῶν καὶ ἐπαρωμένων ἐς τάδε τὰ καθάρσια, ἀντὶ τοῦ στόλου, τὰ ἀπαίσια τραπῆναι. νείμαντες δὲ αὐτά, μέρος ἐς τὴν θάλασσαν ἀπορρίπτουσι καὶ μέρος ἐς τοὺς βωμοὺς ἐπιθέντες ἅπτουσι, καὶ ὁ λεὼς ἐπευφημεῖ. οὕτω μὲν Ῥωμαῖοι τὰ ναυτικὰ καθαίρουσιν.

Euripides, Children of Heracles 770-775 (tr. E.P. Coleridge, prayer to Athena):

O dread goddess, thine the soil whereon we stand, thine this city, for thou art its mother, queen, and saviour; wherefore turn some other way the impious king, who leadeth a host from Argos with brandished lance against this land.

ἀλλ', ὦ πότνια, σὸν γὰρ οὖ-
δας γᾶς, καὶ πόλις, ἇς σὺ μά-
τηρ δέσποινά τε καὶ φύλαξ
πόρευσον ἄλλᾳ τὸν οὐ δικαίως
τᾷδ' ἐπάγοντα δορυσσοῦν
στρατὸν Ἀργόθεν.

Greek Anthology 6.240 (Philippus, tr. W.R. Paton):

Archer daughter of Zeus and Leo, Artemis, watcher of wild creatures, who dwellest in the recesses of the hills, this very day send the hated sickness from our best of emperors forth even unto the Hyperboreans. For Philippus will offer o'er thy altars smoke of frankincense, sacrificing a mountain boar.

Ζηνὸς κα Λητοῦς θηροσκόπε τοξότι κούρη,
  Ἄρτεμις, ἣ θαλάμους τοὺς ὀρέων ἔλαχες,
νοῦσον τὴν στυγερὴν αὐθημερὸν ἐκ βασιλῆος
  ἐσθλοτάτου πέμψαις ἄχρις Ὑπερβορέων·
σοὶ γὰρ ὑπὲρ βωμῶν ἀτμὸν λιβάνοιο Φίλιππος
  ῥέξει καλλιθυτῶν κάπρον ὀρειονόμον.

Greek Anthology 6.302 (Leonidas, tr. W.R. Paton):

Out of my hut, ye mice that love the dark! Leonidas' poor meal-tub has not wherewith to feed mice. The old man is contented if he has salt and two barley-cakes. This is the life I have learnt to acquiesce in from my fathers. So why dost thou dig for treasure in that corner, thou glutton, where thou shalt not taste even of the leavings of my dinner? Haste and be off to other houses (here is but scanty fare), where thou shalt win greater store.

Greek Anthology 6.303 (Ariston, tr. W.R. Paton):

Mice, if you have come for bread, go to some other corner (my hut is ill-supplied), where ye shall nibble fat cheese and dried figs, and get a plentiful dinner from the scraps. But if ye sharpen your teeth again on my books ye shall suffer for it and find that ye come to no pleasant banquet.

Lucian, Lover of Lies 9 (tr. H.W. and F.G. Fowler):

'Ah, you have a great deal to learn,' cried Dinomachus; 'you have never taken the trouble to inquire into the operation of these valuable remedies. It would not surprise me to hear you disputing the most palpable facts, such as the curing of tumours and intermittent fevers, the charming of reptiles, and so on; things that every old woman can effect in these days. And this being so, why should not the same principles be extended further?'

'Nail drives out nail,' I replied; 'you argue in a circle. How do I know that these cures are brought about by the means to which you attribute them? You have first to show inductively that it is in the course of nature for a fever or a tumour to take fright and bolt at the sound of holy names and foreign incantations; till then, your instances are no better than old wives' tales.'

"Πάνυ γὰρ ἰδιώτης," ἔφη ὁ Δεινόμαχος, "εἶ καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα οὐκ ἐμέλησέ σοι ἐκμαθεῖν ὅντινα τρόπον ὁμιλεῖ τοῖς νοσήμασι προσφερόμενα, κἀμοὶ δοκεῖς οὐδὲ τὰ προφανέστατα ἂν παραδέξασθαι ταῦτα, τῶν ἐκ περιόδου πυρετῶν τὰς ἀποπομπὰς καὶ τῶν ἑρπετῶν τὰς καταθέλξεις καὶ βουβώνων ἰάσεις καὶ τἄλλα ὁπόσα καὶ αἱ γρᾶες ἤδη ποιοῦσιν. εἰ δὲ ἐκεῖνα γίγνεται ἅπαντα, τί δή ποτε οὐχὶ ταῦτα οἰήσῃ γίγνεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων;"

"Ἀπέραντα," ἦν δ´ ἐγώ, "σὺ περαίνεις, ὦ Δεινόμαχε, καὶ ἥλῳ, φασίν, ἐκκρούεις τὸν ἧλον· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἃ φὴς ταῦτα δῆλα μετὰ τοιαύτης δυνάμεως γιγνόμενα. ἢν γοῦν μὴ πείσῃς πρότερον ἐπάγων τῷ λόγῳ διότι φύσιν ἔχει οὕτω γίγνεσθαι, τοῦ τε πυρετοῦ καὶ τοῦ οἰδήματος δεδιότος ἢ ὄνομα θεσπέσιον ἢ ῥῆσιν βαρβαρικὴν καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐκ τοῦ βουβῶνος δραπετεύοντος, ἔτι σοι γραῶν μῦθοι τὰ λεγόμενά ἐστι."

Matthew 8.30-32 (cf. Mark 5.11-13 and Luke 8.32-33):

And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

ἦν δὲ μακρὰν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ἀγέλη χοίρων πολλῶν βοσκομένη. οἱ δὲ δαίμονες παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν λέγοντες, Εἰ ἐκβάλλεις ἡμᾶς, ἀπόστειλον ἡμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἀγέλην τῶν χοίρων. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ὑπάγετε. οἱ δὲ ἐξελθόντες ἀπῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους· καὶ ἰδοὺ ὥρμησεν πᾶσα ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ ἀπέθανον ἐν τοῖς ὕδασιν.

Orphic Hymns 11.20-22 (to Pan):

But, blessed one, Bacchic one, lover of inspired frenzy, come for the holy drink-offerings, and grant a good outcome of livelihood, sending away panic madness to the ends of the earth.

ἀλλά, μάκαρ, βακχευτά, φιλένθεε, βαῖν' ἐπὶ λοιβαῖς
εὐιέροις, ἀγαθὴν δ' ὄπασον βιότοιο τελευτὴν
Πανικὸν ἐκπέμπων οἶστρον ἐπὶ τέρματα γαίης.

Orphic Hymns 14.12-14 (to Rhea):

Come, blessed goddess, saviour with kindly counsel, drawing down peace with rich possessions, but sending defilements and dooms to the ends of the earth.

ἐλθέ, μάκαιρα θεά, σωτήριος εὔφρονι βουλῇ,
εἰρήνην κατάγουσα σὺν εὐόλβοις κτεάτεσσιν,
λύματα καὶ κῆρας πέμπουσ' ἐπὶ τέρματα γαίης.

Orphic Hymns 36.14-17 (to Artemis):

Come savior goddess, dear one, propitious to all your initiates, bringing good fruits from the earth and beloved Peace and fair-tressed Health; but may you send to mountain tops diseases and pains.

ἐλθέ, θεὰ σώτειρα, φίλη, μύστῃσιν ἅπασιν
εὐάντητος, ἄγουσα καλοὺς καρποὺς ἀπὸ γαίης
εἰρήνην τ' ἐρατὴν καλλιπλόκαμον θ' ὑγίειαν·
πέμποις δ' εἰς ὀρέων κεφαλὰς νούσους τε καὶ ἄλγη.

Orphic Hymns 71.10-12 (to Mēlinoē):

But, goddess I beseech you, queen of those beneath the earth, to send madness of soul away to the ends of the earth, revealing a gracious, holy face to your initiates.

ἀλλά, θεά, λίτομαί σε, καταχθονίων βασίλεια,
ψυχῆς ἐκπέμπειν οἶστρον ἐπὶ τέρματα γαίης,
εὐμενὲς εὐίερον μύσταις φαίνουσα πρόσωπον.

Sophocles, Electra 637-647 (prayer of Clytemnestra, tr. Richard C. Jebb):

Please, O Phoebus our defender, may you now listen to my prayer, though it is muffled; for I do not make my plea among friends, nor does it suit me to unfold it all to the light while she [Electra] stands near me, lest by her malice and a cry of her clamorous tongue she sow reckless rumors through the whole city. Nevertheless, hear me thus, since in this way I will speak. That vision which I saw last night in ambiguous dreams--if its appearance was to my good, grant, Lycean king, that it be fulfilled; but if to my harm, then hurl it back upon those who would harm me.

κλύοις ἂν ἤδη, Φοῖβε προστατήριε,
κεκρυμμένην μου βάξιν· οὐ γὰρ ἐν φίλοις
ὁ μῦθος, οὐδὲ πᾶν ἀναπτύξαι πρέπει
πρὸς φῶς παρούσης τῆσδε πλησίας ἐμοί,
μὴ σὺν φθόνῳ τε καὶ πολυγλώσσῳ βοῇ
σπείρῃ ματαίαν βάξιν εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν.
ἀλλ᾽ ὧδ᾽ ἄκουε· τῇδε γὰρ κἀγὼ φράσω.
ἃ γὰρ προσεῖδον νυκτὶ τῇδε φάσματα
δισσῶν ὀνείρων, ταῦτά μοι, Λύκει᾽ ἄναξ,
εἰ μὲν πέφηνεν ἐσθλά, δὸς τελεσφόρα,
εἰ δ᾽ ἐχθρά, τοῖς ἐχθροῖσιν ἔμπαλιν μέθες.

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex 190-196 (tr. Richard C. Jebb):

Grant that the fierce god of death, who now without the bronze of shields, though among cries like those of battle, wraps me in the flames of his onset, may turn his back in speedy flight from our land, borne by a favorable wind to the great chamber of Amphitrite, or to the Thracian waves, those waters where none find haven.

Ἄρεά τε τὸν μαλερόν, ὃς νῦν ἄχαλκος ἀσπίδων
φλέγει με περιβόατον, ἀντιάζω
παλίσσυτον δράμημα νωτίσαι πάτρας
ἔπουρον, εἴτ᾽ ἐς μέγαν θάλαμον Ἀμφιτρίτας
εἴτ᾽ ἐς τὸν ἀπόξενον ὅρμων
Θρῄκιον κλύδωνα.

Georg Kaibel, Epigrammata Graeca ex lapidibus conlecta (Berlin: Reimer, 1878), no. 1035, on pp. 450-452 (lines 26-29 on p. 451):

With each drink-offering, as you pour the libation, request from the immortals a good remedy against plague, that it go forth away from this place to a distant land of foreign men.

                                                    λοί[β]ῃ [δ]’ ἐφ’ ἑκάστῃ
σπένδοντες [λοιμο]ῖο παρ’ ἀθανάτων ἄκος ἐσθλὸν
αἰτέετε, [ὡ]ς τηλουρὸν ἐς ἐχ[θ]ο[δ]α[π]ῶν χθόνα φωτῶν
ἐκτόπιος προνέοιτ[ο].

Latin Examples

Apuleius, Metamorphoses 11.15 (tr. W. Adlington, rev. S. Gaselee):

But howsoever the blindness of Fortune tormented thee in divers dangers, so it is now by her unthoughtful malice thou art come to this present felicity of religion. Let Fortune go and fume with fury in another place; let her find some other matter to execute her cruelty; for fortune has no puissance against those who have devoted their lives to serve and honour the majesty of our goddess [Isis].

sed utcumque Fortunae caecitas, dum te pessimis periculis discruciat, ad religiosam istam beatitudinem inprovida produxit malitia. eat nunc et summo furore saeviat et crudelitati suae materiem quaerat aliam; nam in eos, quorum sibi vitas in servitium deae nostrae maiestas vindicavit, non habet locum casus infestus.

Catullus 63.91-93 (tr. F.W. Cornish):

Goddess, great goddess, Cybele, goddess, lady of Dindymus, far from my house be all your fury, O my queen; others drive thou in frenzy, others drive thou to madness.

dea, magna dea, Cybebe, dea domina Dindymi,
procul a mea tuos sit furor omnis, era, domo:
alios age incitatos, alios age rabidos.

Horace, Odes 1.21.13-16:

Moved by your prayer, he [Apollo] will drive tearful war and wretched hunger and pestilence away from our people and from our leader Caesar to the inhabitants of Persia and Britain.

hic bellum lacrimosum, hic miseram famem
pestemque a populo et principe Caesare in
    Persas atque Britannos
    vestra motus aget prece.

Horace, Odes 3.27.21-24:
hostium uxores puerique caecos
sentiant motus orientis Austri et
aequoris nigri fremitum et trementis
verbere ripas.

Horace, Epodes 5.51-54 (prayer of witch Canidia):

Night and Diana, who rule the silent time when secret rites are performed, now, now be present, now transfer your anger and power to the houses of my enemies.

Nox et Diana, quae silentium regis,
    arcana cum fiunt sacra,
nunc, nunc adeste, nunc in hostilis domos
    iram atque numen vertite.

Livy 5.18.12:

Supplications were made in the temples, and with prayers the gods were asked to ward off destruction from Rome's houses, temples, and walls and to turn that panic against Veii.

obsecrationes in templis factae, precibusque ab dis petitum ut exitium ab urbis tectis templisque ac moenibus Romanis arcerent Veiosque eum averterent terrorem.

Pseudo-Seneca, Octavia 756-759 (tr. Watson Bradshaw):

I had made up my mind to seek the temples and the sacred altars, and to sacrifice to the worship of the Deities with slaughtered victims, that such threatening visitations of the night, and the period allotted to sleep might be expiated, and that the terror inspired thereby, might recoil upon my enemies.

delubra et aras petere constitui sacras,
caesis litare victimis numen deum,
ut expientur noctis et somni minae
terrorque in hostes redeat attonitus meos.

Tibullus 2.5.79-80 (tr. J.P. Postgate):

So was it once; but thou, Apollo, kind at last, whelm monstrous things beneath the savage deep.

haec fuerant olim: sed tu iam mitis, Apollo,
  prodigia indomitis merge sub aequoribus.

Tibullus 4.4.1-8 (tr. J.P. Postgate):

Come hither and drive out the tender maid's disease, come hither, Phoebus, with thy pride of unshorn hair. Hear me and hasten; and henceforth, Phoebus, thou shalt ne'er regret to have laid thy healing hands upon the fair. See to it that no wasting blight fall upon the pallid form, nor disfiguring hue mark the feeble limbs. Yea, all the mischief, all the dread things we fear, let the rushing river-waters carry out into the main.

Huc ades et tenerae morbos expelle puellae,
  huc ades, intonsa Phoebe superbe coma;
crede mihi, propera, nec te iam, Phoebe, pigebit
  formosae medicas applicuisse manus.
Effice ne macies pallentes occupet artus,
  neu notet informis candida membra color,
et quodcumque mali est et quidquid triste timemus,
  in pelagus rapidis evehat amnis aquis.

Vergil, Georgics 3.511-514 (cattle plague at Noricum, tr. H. Rushton Fairclough):

Soon even this led to death; they burned with the fury of fresh strength, and, though now in the weakness of death (Heaven grant a happier lot to the good, and such madness to our foes!), rent and mangled their own limbs with bared teeth.

mox erat hoc ipsum exitio, furiisque refecti
ardebant, ipsique suos iam morte sub aegra
(di meliora piis, erroremque hostibus illum!)
discissos nudis laniabant dentibus artus.

Last stanza of a hymn to Pan (Carmina I.2) by Marcantonio Flaminio (1498-1550), translated by Carol Maddison in Marcantonio Flaminio: Poet, Humanist and Reformer (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), p. 65:
Hail, ruler of the Naiads,
Hail and drive away weeping
Disease and wretched famine
To the most distant homes of the Arabs
And the fierce Turks.

Salve, o Naïdum potens,
Salve et hinc lacrimabiles
Morbos, et miseram famem in
Extremas Arabum domos,
Et feros age Turcas.

Sanskrit Examples

Rigveda 1.129.10 (tr. Ralph Griffith):

Thou art our own, O Indra, with victorious wealth: let might accompany thee, the Strong, to give us aid, like Mitra, to give mighty aid.

O strongest saviour, helper thou, Immortal! of each warrior's car. Hurt thou another and not us, O Thunder-armed, one who would hurt, O Thunder-armed.

Atharvaveda 5.22 (tr. Ralph Griffith):

[1] Hence, filled with holy strength let Agni, Soma, and Varuna, the Press-stone, and the Altar.
  And Grass, and glowing Fuel banish Fever. Let hateful things stay at a distance yonder.

[2] And thou thyself who makest all men yellow, consuming them with burning heat like Agni,
  Thou, Fever! then be weak and ineffective. Pass hence into the realms below or vanish.

[3] Endowed with universal power! send Fever down-ward, far away,
  The spotty, like red-coloured dust, sprung from a spotty ancestor.

[4] When I have paid obeisance to Fever I send him downward forth.
  So let Sakambhara's boxer go again to the Mahāvrishas.

[5] His mansions are the Mūjavans, and the Mahāvrishas his home,
  Thou, Fever, ever since thy birth hast lived among the Bahlikas.

[6] Fever, snake, limbless one, speak out! Keep thyself far away from us.
  Seek thou a wanton Dāst girl and strike her with thy thunderbolt.

[7] Go, Fever, to the Mūjavans, or, farther, to the Bahlikas.
  Seek a lascivious Sara girl and seem to shake her through and through.

[8] Go hence and eat thy kinsmen the Mahāvrishas and Mūjavans.
  These or those foreign regions we proclaim to Fever for his home.

[9] In a strange land thou joyest not; subdued, thou wilt be kind to us.
  Fever is eager to depart, and to the Bahlikas will go,

[10] Since thou now cold, now burning hot, with cough besides, hast made us shake,
  Terrible, Fever, are thy darts: forbear to injure us with these.

[11] Take none of these to be thy friends, Cough, or Consumption or Decline:
  Never come thence again to us! O Fever, thus I counsel thee.

[12] Go, Fever, with Consumption, thy brother, and with thy sister, Cough.
  And with thy nephew Herpes, go away unto that alien folk.

[13] Chase Fever whether cold or hot, brought by the summer or the rains,
  Tertian, intermittent, or autumnal, or continual.

[14] We to Gandhāris, Mūjavans, to Angas and to Magadhas.
  Hand over Fever as it were a servant and a thing of price.

Atharvaveda 11.2.19-21, 26 (tr. Ralph Griffith):

[19] Cast not thy club at us, thy heavenly weapon. Lord of Beasts, be not wroth with us. Let reverence be paid to thee. Shake thy celestial branch above some others elsewhere, not o'er us.

[20] Do us no harm, but comfort us: avoid thou us, and be not wroth. Never let us contend with thee.

[21] Covet not thou our kine or men, covet not thou our goats or sheep. Elsewhither, strong One! turn thine aim: destroy the mockers' family.

....

[26] O'erwhelm us not with Fever or with poison, nor, Rudra! with the fire that comes from heaven. Elsewhere, and not on us, cast down this lightning.

Other Examples

Howard Ensign Evans, Life on a Little-Known Planet (Philadephia: E.P. Dutton, 1968), p. 62, quoting Frank Cowan, Curious Facts in the History of Insects (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1865):

It is none other than to address these pests a written letter containing the following words, or to this effect: 'O, Roaches, you have troubled me long enough, go now and trouble my neighbors.' This letter must be put where they most swarm, after sealing and going through with other customary forms of letter writing. It is well, too, to write legibly and punctuate according to rule.

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, chap. 6:

"But say--how do you cure 'em with dead cats?"

"Why, you take your cat and go and get in the graveyard 'long about midnight when somebody that was wicked has been buried; and when it's midnight a devil will come, or maybe two or three, but you can't see 'em, you can only hear something like the wind, or maybe hear 'em talk; and when they're taking that feller away, you heave your cat after 'em and say, 'Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm done with ye!' That'll fetch ANY wart."

"Sounds right. D'you ever try it, Huck?"

"No, but old Mother Hopkins told me."

"Well, I reckon it's so, then. Becuz they say she's a witch."

Bibliography

I have not seen items marked with an asterisk.

*W. Havers, "Zum primitiven Gebetsegoismus," in Hommages à M. Niedermann (Bruxelles: Collection Latomus, 1956), pp. 159-163

Richard Heim, Incantamenta Magica Graeca Latina (Leipzig: Teubner, 1892) = Fleckeisens Jahrb. Suppl. 19, pp. 483-484 (no. 69-75): "IV. Incantamenta, quibus mala in alias res transferuntur"

Fritz Pradel, "Griechische und süditalienische Gebete, Beschwörungen und Rezepte des Mittelalters," Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten 3 (1907) 253-403 (at 355ff., starting with "Wohin werden nun die böser Geister gebannt?")

Bernhard Schmidt, "Alte Verwünschungsformeln," Neue Jahrbücher für Philologie und Paedogogik 143 (1891) 561-576

H.S. Versnel, "Religious Mentality in Ancient Prayer," in H.S. Versnel, ed. Faith, Hope and Worship (Leiden, 1981), pp. 1-64 ("III. Gebetsegoismus," pp. 17-21)

Otto Weinreich, "Catulls Attisgedicht," Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire orientales et slaves 4 (1936) = Mélanges Franz Cumont, pp. 463-500 ("4. Das Schlussgebet des Dichters," pp. 489-497), reprinted in his Ausgewählte Schriften II (Amsterdam: B.R. Grüner, 1973), pp. 489-527 (515-523)

Otto Weinreich, "Ein Epigramm des Iulianos Aigyptios und antike Haussegen" Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 35 (1938) 307-313, reprinted in his Ausgewählte Schriften III (Amsterdam: B.R. Grüner, 1979), pp. 54-60 (the epigram is in the Greek Anthology, 9.654)

Otto Weinreich, "Gebet und Wunder: Zwei Abhandlungen zur Religions- und Literaturgeschichte," Tübinger Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft 5 (1929) = Genethliakon Wilhelm Schmid, pp. 169-464 (I. Primitiver Gebetsegoismus: Ein Beitrag zu Terenz, Andria 232f.", pp. 169-199)

Otto Weinreich, "Mäusesegen in Volkstum und kirklicher Benediktion" in Hans Bihl, ed. Beiträge zur Geschichte, Literatur und Sprachkunde vornehmlich Württembergs. Festgabe für Karl Bohnenberger (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1938), pp. 263-281, reprinted in his Ausgewählte Schriften III (Amsterdam: B.R. Grüner, 1979), pp. 39-54

Otto Weinreich, "Religionswissenschaftliche und literargeschichtliche Beiträge zu Horaz," Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 61 (1942) 33-74, ("III. Formen der 'Epipompe' des Unheils bei Horaz," pp. 41-70), reprinted in his Ausgewählte Schriften III (Amsterdam: B.R. Grüner, 1979), pp. 149-188 (156-184)

Otto Weinreich, "Religiös-ethische Formen der Epipompe," in Theodor Klauser and Adolf Rücker, edd. Pisciculi. Studien zur Religion und Kultur des Altertums. Franz Joseph Dölger zum 60. Geburtstage dargeboten von Freunden, Verehren und Schülern (Münster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1939), pp. 291-308, reprinted in his Ausgewählte Schriften III (Amsterdam: B.R. Grüner, 1979), pp. 61-77

Richard Wünsch, "Zur Geisterbannung im Altertum," Festschrift zur Jahrhundertfeier der Universität zu Breslau = Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde 13/14 (1911) 9-32