Magic is one of the oldest performing arts in the world in which audiences are entertained by staged tricks or illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means.
Magicians may pull a rabbit from an empty hat, make something seem to disappear, or transform a red silk handkerchief into a green silk handkerchief. Magicians may also destroy something, like cutting a head off, and then “restore” it, make something appear to move from one place to another, or they may escape from a restraining device. Other illusions include making something appear to defy gravity, making a solid object appear to pass through another object, or appearing to predict the choice of a spectator. Many magical routines use combinations of effects.
The term “magic” etymologically derives from the Greek word mageia . In ancient times, Greeks and Persians had been at war for centuries, and the Persian priests, called magosh in Persian, came to be known as magoi in Greek. Ritual acts of Persian priests came to be known as mageia, and then magika—which eventually came to mean any foreign, unorthodox, or illegitimate ritual practice.