Podcast #10: Greek and Egyptian deities in Coptic magical texts with Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin

In this podcast episode, we are discussing Greek and Egyptian deities appearing in Coptic magical texts, which are predominantly Christian. How is it possible that one encounters Artemis and Jesus in the very same text (BNF Suppl. Grec. 1340)? And Isis and Horus in many others at the time when Christianity was predominant in Egypt? Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin, our guest for this podcast episode, helps us to understand how such mixing of various traditions was possible and what shape this tendency took. Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin defended a thesis on this topic, appearing later this year as part of the Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta series (Peeters). Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin has obtained a PhD title in Religious Studies and in Languages, Literatures and Translation Studies from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium) in 2020. In general, her research focuses on the appropriation of ancient magical practices by Christians in Greek and Coptic magical texts from Late Antique Egypt and on the processes of religious transformation in Late Antiquity. Currently, Roxanne is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Theology for the ERC-funded project Storyworlds in Transition: Coptic Apocrypha in Changing Contexts in the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods, led by Hugo Lundhaug at the University of Oslo, where she works on the relationship between Coptic apocrypha and Coptic magical texts. Within the Coptic magic community, Roxanne is of course known for compiling a list of magical texts which served as a starting point for the creation of the Kyprianos database, and she is also a contributor for the Coptic Magical Papyri project.

Magic in the Byzantine World with Michael Zellmann-Rohrer Coptic Magical Papyri Podcast

In this episode, Michael Zellmann-Rohrer introduced us to Byzantine magic. Michael Zellmann-Rohrer has an undergraduate degree in classical philology from Harvard University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on late ancient and medieval Greek and Latin magical texts at the University of California. Between 2016 and 2021, he was a research associate on the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names at the University of Oxford. Currently, Michael Zellmann-Rohrer is part of the ERC project "Zodiac – Ancient Astral Science in Transformation", in which he is dealing with a corpus of texts and practices related to his earlier interest in magic. Astrology is another form of easily transmissible folk knowledge with a foundation in religious thought, which has survived on papyri thanks to the favorable climate in Egypt, allowing us to trace the details of its application by practitioners from different social classes. During his research, he has worked with various artifacts of manuscript cultures: Inscriptions on stone, jewelry, amulets made of precious stones and metal leaves, books and formulas on papri, and in parchment and paper codices.
  1. Magic in the Byzantine World with Michael Zellmann-Rohrer
  2. Talking Ancient Magic with David Frankfurter
  3. Intersection between Christian and Jewish Magic with Joseph Sanzo
  4. Greek and Egyptian Deities in Coptic Magical Texts with Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin
  5. Coptic Pharmacological Texts with Anne Grons

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