• Database updates,  The Kyprianos Database,  The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (2 February 2024)

    After a big year preparing the first volume of the Papyri Copticae Magicae (PCM), we’ve finally had time to post a new update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. As well as the usual corrections and updates, the contents of this update include: For anyone who would like to access the raw data, remember that the Manuscripts and Texts tables may be downloaded from the Database Help page (“About the Kyprianos Database”) in the form of CSV files.

  • News

    2023 Review: The End of the Coptic Magical Papyri Project and the Beginning of the Papyri Copticae Magicae

    It’s hard to believe that a little over five years have now passed since the three original members of the Coptic Magical Papyri project sat in the Egyptology department in Würzburg and began to plan how we could contribute to the study of Coptic magical texts. In August of this year our project ended, and so in this blog post we will discuss what we achieved in the last five years, beginning with our exciting news, the publication of the first in a new series of Coptic magical texts, Papyri Copticae Magicae. Papyri Copticae Magicae. Coptic Magical Texts, Volume 1: Formularies From the beginning of our project we planned to…

  • Podcast

    Podcast #13: Byzantine Magic with Michael Zellmann-Rohrer

    In this episode, Michael Zellmann-Rohrer introduces 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…

  • aramaic magic,  Case Study,  incantation bowls

    Materiality and Liminality in Incantation Bowls

    A guest post by Anne Sieberichs Introduction The Aramaic Incantation bowls, produced between the fifth and the eighth centuries CE, prove to be an interesting case study, demonstrating the importance of both the visual characteristics of ancient sources and their written content. In art history, archeology, and/or  history, one tends to focus on either materiality or textual content. When considering a written object, one cannot understand its true nature if one ignores its materiality and use. As beautifully stated by Daniel Miller (2009: preface), “things make us as much as we make things”. Consequently, objects can have a social life on their own and influence the human subject (Ireland &…

  • News

    2022 Review: The Fourth Year of the Coptic Magical Papyri Project

    Four years of the Coptic Magical Papyri project have passed, and just a little bit less than one remains. We’ve managed to achieve a lot, but we still have much more to do, and we hope to have some pleasant surprises for our followers in the next few months. The team once again underwent some changes this year – we said goodbye to Matouš Preininger, who since 2020 has been providing us with invaluable IT support. But we were able to welcome back Stella Türker, who has returned to continue helping us by compiling data on manuscripts in the database, and had a new member join the team – Selina…

  • The Kyprianos Database,  The Kyprianos Database

    Kyprianos Update (12 December 2022)

    We’ve just posted our latest update to the Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects. There are two major changes with this update. The first is that we have decided to make available the raw data behind Kyprianos in the form of CSV files, in order to allow other users to explore the data more readily. The files for the Manuscripts and Texts tables may be downloaded from the Database Help page (“About the Kyprianos Database”). These files can be opened with most text editing and spreadsheet or database programs, and will allow the database to be reconstructed, searched, and statistics generated, without the need to use the online version.…

  • 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…