• The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (22 December 2020)

    We’ve just posted our third and last update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects for 2020. As well as correcting some small mistakes in manuscript and text entries, the update includes: 47 new manuscript entries, bringing the total to 795. The database now includes all entries for the Greek magical texts from Supplementum Magicum (SM), published by Robert Daniel and Franco Maltomini. The manuscripts table now also contains links to the database To Zodion, directed by Raquel Martín Hernández, and containing copies and descriptions of drawings from magical texts. 5 new edited texts, bringing the total to 27. These include: …the three texts of P. Mil.…

  • The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (1 December 2020)

    Our latest update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects has just gone live. As well as correcting some minor errors in manuscript and text entries, we have added: A whole new Archives table. This table provides information on collections of manuscripts. At present, the online version of Kyprianos contains 10 entries, and we will continue to add more with future updates Among the first archive entries to be put online are the famous Theban Magical Libary (A1), the important archive of texts found in area A House 3 in Kellis (A6), and the Berlin Library (A14), containing over twenty Coptic magical manuscripts with everything from lists of saints…

  • The Kyprianos Database

    Fix for issues with database display (17/11/2020)

    We are aiming to update the content of the database every month, but small technical improvements are happening even more frequently. One of the most recent changes may cause the database to display wrongly on devices that have viewed it before. To make loading pages quicker, the browser normally keeps some information about visited websites saved on your computer and only downloads the data that is most likely to have changed from your last visit. This can sometimes cause information to not display correctly when changes are made. Fortunately the fix is very simple – if the database is displaying incorrectly in your browser, just press ctrl + f5 (on a PC)…

  • News,  The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (30 October 2020)

    Our first update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects has just gone live. As well as correcting some minor errors in manuscript and text entries, we have added: 47 new manuscript entries, bringing the total number to 724. The database now includes entries for all of the manuscripts of the PGM (Papyri Graecae Magicae), the Greek Magical Papyri. 6 new texts, bringing the total to 17. Among the most interesting new additions are: Nahman Bone A (T576), a curse calling upon the Powers of Death written on the bone of a camel or cow. For more on the group of manuscripts to which this belongs, you…

  • News

    Kyprianos Digital Database Presentation: 5 November 2020

    Now that the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects has been online for nearly a month, the team would like to hold a short online session via Zoom in order to help demonstrate how it works, and discuss our plans for its development. The session is open to the general public, and held on Thursday 5 November at 4pm Würzburg time (GMT + 1) – this is equivalent to 8am Los Angeles time, 11am New York time, 3pm London time, 5pm Cairo time, 12 midnight Tokyo time, and 2am Sydney time. The session will be held digitally via Zoom. If you’d like to attend, please register here. The…

  • News

    Update to the Coptic Dictionary Online

    The Coptic Dictionary Online is a fantastic online resource – free to use, it is already the most complete dictionary of the Coptic language to exist, containing not only the words of native Egyptian origin, but also a huge number of Greek loanwords. Our colleagues behind this tool have just announced an update making it an even more useful resource; one of my favourite new tools is the “term network”, which allows you to see how the word is typically used in larger constructions. Here is a press release giving fuller details:

  • News,  The Kyprianos Database

    2020 Review: The Kyprianos Database Launch and the Second Year of the Coptic Magical Papyri Project

    The Launch of the Kyprianos Database In September, we hit the second year mark, so it’s time to talk about all the things we’ve been up to in the last twelve months. But before we get to that, we should share our big news – the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects is now online! In this first stage, we’re sharing our data on 677 manuscripts and 11 texts, but there will be regular updates to increase the number of published manuscripts and texts, and begin to add information for archives, as well as copies of drawings from the magical texts. At the moment, the database includes manuscript…

  • Coptic Charms

    Coptic Charms II: Horus and the Fish of the Sun God

    In this series we’re discussing charms – spells in the form of short stories which mirror and resolve problems in the real world. In the first post of this series we discussed a text from an eighth-century CE manuscript which, although from a Christian context, contained a story in which the Egyptian god Horus eats a bird which is mysteriously three birds at the same time, and has a stomach ache which is healed by his mother Isis. As we mentioned, this Coptic text has a very close parallel in a much older Egyptian charm, which is the subject of this post. Leiden I 348 is a roll 360 cm…

  • Coptic Curses

    Coptic Curses V: Pshai, Ouales, and the Scorching of the Mustard

    This week we’re going to take another look at one of the most unusual magical texts to survive from Late Antique Egypt, P. Kell. Copt. 35, a letter containing a magical spell intended to separate a couple. We already discussed this text briefly in our post about Manichaeism and magic – like all of the texts from the ancient oasis-city of Kellis, this papyrus was uncovered by the excavations of the team from the University of Monash in Melbourne, Australia, led by Colin Hope. It was found in House 3 of Area A, inhabited in the fourth century by several generations of an extended family of Manicheans, who abandoned it…

  • Looking at the Coptic Magical Papyri

    Looking at the Coptic Magical Papyri

    This fourteen-part series looks at the corpus of Coptic-language magical manuscripts, looking at them as both physical objects and as texts. Defining Magical Texts Formularies and Applied Texts Boundary-Crossing Texts Time… …and Space Writing Materials Manuscript Formats Changes in Manuscript Formats Magical Archives Egyptian Languages Magic between Languages Coptic Dialects Types of Magic Modern Collections