• Podcast

    Podcast #12: Talking Ancient Magic with David Frankfurter

    In this episode, the well-known scholar of ancient Mediterranean religion David Frankfurter not only introduces the into the basic questions concerning magic in the ancient world, but also shares his memories of magic studies during their revival in the 1990’s. David Frankfurter specializes in Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, magical texts, popular religion, and Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods. Frankfurter’s particular interests revolve around theoretical issues like the place of magic in religion, the relationship of religion and violence, the nature of Christianization, and the representation of evil in culture. David Frankfurter earned his bachelor degree in Religion from Wesleyan University, master of theological studies degree from…

  • Database updates

    Kyprianos Update (10 July 2022)

    We’ve just posted our latest update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. The update includes: 36 new manuscript entries, bringing the total to 1059. These contain new Greek, Coptic, Demotic, and Aramaic manuscripts from Egypt and elsewhere dating to the first millennium CE. We are particularly grateful to Anne Sieberichs, who is currently responsible for entering manuscripts from a checklist of Aramaic incantation bowls prepared by Ortal-Paz Saar. We have also made several important corrections to previously uploaded entries. 28 new text entries, bringing the total to 206. These include: Two texts from P. Heid. Inv. Copt. 685 (M186), including the longest Coptic version of the famous Prayer of Mary…

  • Podcast

    Podcast #11: Intersection between Christian and Jewish Magic with Joseph Sanzo

    In this podcast episode, our guest Joseph E. Sanzo discusses the intersection between Christian and Jewish magic. Joseph Sanzo is Associate Professor of the History of Religions at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Joseph Sanzo obtained his PhD degree at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012 and his thesis was published in 2014 in a volume called Scriptural Incipits on Amulets from Late Antique Egypt: Text, Typology, and Theory. Since then, he has held various positions; after his PhD, he was a lecturer at UCLA and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Jerusalem, between 2015 and 2018 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of…

  • Database updates

    Kyprianos Update (16 February 2022)

    We’ve just posted our first update of the year to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. The update includes: 12 new manuscript entries, bringing the total to 1023. These contain Greek and/or Coptic magical and liturgical texts from Egypt and other parts of the Roman Empire, including four new Coptic copies of the Jesus-Abgar correspondence (information kindly provided by Roxanne Bélanger-Sarrazin), and seven new Greek texts edited by Michael Zellmann-Rohrer, six of which are from the new volume of the Oxyrhynchus papyri. 9 new text entries, bringing the total to 178. Two texts from the codex P. Heid. Inv. 685, an exorcism of a female demon and a pair of…

  • Podcast

    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…

  • News

    Coptic Magical Papyri on the Road: Letters, Archives and Communication in Late Antiquity Heidelberg Conference

    Rodney Ast and Loreleï Vanderheyden of the sub-project of SFB 933, A02 “Antique Letters as a Means of Communication,” organized a hybrid conference in Heidelberg on the 8th and 9th of November 2021 focused on letters, archives, and communication in Late Antiquity. As Rodney Ast remarked in his introduction to the conference, there has been an increasing focus in recent years on the appreciation of texts as physical products of communities organized around the cultures of writing. Materiality and text culture was thus the main focus of this conference on letters. Jean-Luc Fournet was the keynote speaker at the conference; he spoke about the private letters of Graeco-Roman Egypt, emphasizing…

  • The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (22 December 2021)

    We’ve just posted our latest update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. The update includes: 24 new manuscript entries, bringing the total to 1012. These contain Greek and/or Coptic magical and liturgical texts from Egypt and other parts of the Roman Empire, as well as Aramaic incantation bowls from the Prosopographic Database of Magical Bowls produced by Ortal-Paz Saar. 2 new text entries, bringing the total to 169. The two texts we chose for this update are P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 685 p. 10 ll. 1-18, the instructions for creating an amulet empowered by Nassklnē, a being who protected King Solomon. P. Palau Rib. Inv. 412R, an amulet for protecting…

  • The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (12 November 2021)

    We’ve just posted our latest update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. The update includes: 30 new manuscript entries, bringing the total to 988. These contain primarily Greek and/or Coptic magical texts from Egypt and other parts of the Roman Empire, but we are also now beginning to include two new categories of manuscript, arising from our collaborations with two outstanding researchers. The first of these are Aramaic incantation bowls, drawn from the Prosopographic Database of Magical Bowls produced by Ortal-Paz Saar as part of the project “Aramaic Magical Texts from Late Antiquity” (2009-2014) conducted by Dan Levene (University of Southampton) and Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv University) and…

  • The Kyprianos Database

    2021 Review: The Third Year of the Coptic Magical Papyri Project

    It’s hard to believe that three years of the project have already passed! As it has been for many others all across the world, 2021 has been a year in which the COVID-19 Pandemic has still had a major effect on our work, but we’re lucky that – while we weren’t able to attend many in-person conferences or visit many papyrus collections – we still managed to have a year of very productive teamwork.  The Kyprianos Database  When Kyprianos launched online in October last year, it contained only 677 manuscript entries, and 11 Coptic texts. We’re proud to announce that we’ve managed to make it significantly bigger this year –…

  • The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (11 October 2021)

    We’ve just posted our latest update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. The update includes: 15 new manuscript entries, bringing the total to 958. These contain primarily Greek and/or Coptic magical texts from Egypt. 9 new text entries, bringing the total to 165. Among the texts we’ve chosen for this update are… Rossi’s Gnostic Tractate, a long, now-lost magical prayer, and one of the first-published Coptic magical texts, accompanied by an image of an angel shown here on the right. Louvre E 14.250, a highly-illustrated separation curse written on a piece of parchment shaped like a knife. Vienna K 10335, a short and mysterious text containing the magical names…