Archive name: Aberdeen Scribal Group
Trismegistos Archive ID: question mark icon Page on the database Trismegistos Collections for the archive.
Date: question mark icon Dates are CE unless preceded by a minus sign <->, in which case they are BCE. 401 – 500
Provenance: Upper Egypt (?)
Trismegistos Place ID: question mark icon Page on the database Trismegistos Places for the place of provenance.
Manuscripts: KYP M26 407 537 1160
See all manuscripts in this archive.

These manuscripts comprise a “dossier”, meaning they were likely produced by the same ancient copyist. Nothing is known about their findspot or acquisition that would allow us to confirm that they were deposited or found together.


Four Coptic applied curses in an unusual form of the Akhmimic dialect written on papyrus.


The Aberdeen papyrus (M537) was formerly part of the Collection Grant Pascha (Crum 1922: p. 539; Kropp 1931: p. 227). The two Louvre pieces (M26, M1160) were acquired together in 1904 (comité d’acquisition du 29/02/1904), from Pierre Bouriant, son of the former Director of the École du Caire, Urbain Bouriant (private communication Florence Calament, 27/6/2019).


Based on the use of the Akhmimic dialect, and the hand, we propose a fifth century date for all of the manuscripts.


All of the curses are written in Akhmimic, albeit a form which shows some unusual consonantal features, such as ϫ → ⳉ/ϣ, ⳉ → ϣ/ⲭ, ⲥ → ϣ.


All of the pieces are written on small pieces of papyrus, ca. 10-20 cm in height and 10-18 cm in width. They are almost exclusively written on the recto, although IFAO Copte 449 carries over with two lines on the verso.


All contain curses against individuals whose names are written in the first line, calling upon a variety of divine beings, notably the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Suriel, to bring destruction on their victims.


Cf. the Russian-British Akhmimic Curse Group (A79), from a similar date and also in Akhmimic, and with a similar, though more formal hand, and IFAO Copte 451 (M468), another Akhmimic curse found in the same drawer as IFAO Copte 449 (M26) and with a broadly similar hand (Louis 2009: p. 25).


Crum, Walter Ewing. “La Magie Copte: Nouveaux Textes.” In Recueil d’études égyptologiques dédiées à la mémoire de Jean-François Champollion à l’occasion du centenaire de la lettre à M. Dacier relative à l’alphabet des hiéroglyphes phonétiques, Paris: Champion , 1922, p. 539-540, no. I.

Kropp, Angelicus. Ausgewählte koptische Zaubertexte. Übersetzungen und Anmerkungen. Vol. 2. Bruxelles: Édition de la Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, 1931, p. 227-228, no. 67.

Louis, Catherine. “Une prière magique copte en dialecte achmimîque.” In Études coptes XII. Quatorzième journée d’études (Rome, 11-13 juin 2009), edited by Anne Boud’hors and Catherine Louis. Paris: De Boccard, 2013, p. 25-36.

Edit History:

KD (16/5/2019); KD (6/10/2021); KD (24/12/2021)

How to cite:
Korshi Dosoo, Edward O.D. Love & Markéta Preininger (chief editors). "KYP A28: Aberdeen Scribal Group," Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects, Accessed on 20/07/2024

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