Sigla: question mark icon Modern names for the manuscript, including inventory and publication numbers.

P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 686

Category: question mark icon Classification of the contents, e.g. magical (formulary or applied), alchemical, liturgical, documentary or medical.

Magical (formulary)


Original Use:

Pauline epistles

Re-use (palimpsest):

1. p. 2 l. 1 – p. 15 l. 27, (1-249): Praise of the Archangel Michael
2. p. 15, ll. 27-29 (250-251): Instructions for using the formula for a person afflicted by a demon (exorcism).
3. p. 15, ll. 29-31 (252): Instructions for a person who is in prison (to free prisoner).
4. p. 15, ll. 32-33 (253): Instructions for a favour.
5. p. 16, ll. 1-2 (254): Instructions for someone who is sick (healing).
6. p. 16, ll. 3-5 (255): Instructions for reconciling man and wife (reconciliation).
7. p. 16, ll. 6-8 (257): Instructions for someone who has been bound by magic so that he is unable to have sex with his wife (healing, virility).
8. p. 16, ll. 9-15,12 (257): Instructions for someone who has been given a cup (potion)
9. p. 16, ll. 13-14 (258): Instructions for someone who is in pain (healing).
10. p. 16, ll. 15-17 (259): Instructions for a person who is going on a mountain to avoid attacks from robbers or animals (protection).
11. p. 16, ll. 18-20 (260): Instructions to ensure fidelity of a man’s wife (curse/fidelity spell).
12. p. 16, ll. 21-23 (261): Instructions for a woman with a violent husband (reconciliation).
13. p. 16, ll. 24-25 (262): Instructions for a man who is “hastening towards ruin” to “avoid him being recognized (protection?)
14. p. 16, ll. 26-27 (263): Instructions for a man who cannot sleep (healing).
15. p. 16, ll. 28-30 (264): Instructions for approaching an authority (favour before superior).
16. p. 16, ll. 31-32 (265): Instructions for causing a village to be inhabited (gathering spell).
17. p. 16, ll. 33-36 (266): Instructions for removing water from a workplace (?) (curse).
18. p. 17, ll. 1-3 (267): To cause someone to become unresponsive like a dead person (curse).
19. p. 17, ll. 3-6 (268): To reconcile someone at odds with you (reconciliation).
20. p. 17, ll. 7-9 (269): To stop a man chasing after a woman (binding, fidelity spell).
21. p. 17, ll. 10-12 (270): To remove sorcery from a herd of cattle (protection from magic).
22. p. 17, ll. 13-16 (271): To prevent more of a woman’s children from dying (healing/protection).
23. p. 17, ll. 17-23 (272); p. 16, ll. 24-29 (273): Ritual for protection.
24. p. 17, ll. 30-35 (272-274): Drawing of Michael accompanied by two Powers.

See all texts in this manuscript.


Egyptian (Coptic)





Language/dialect notes:

Bélanger Sarrazin (2017: p. 392).

Date: question mark icon Dates are CE unless preceded by a minus sign <->, in which case they are BCE. 951 – 1000
Date notes:

Written in same hand as P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 682 (M291), dated by its colophon to 967 CE. TM (25/9/2018); 901-1000 (Mößner and Nauerth 2015: p. 312).

Archive/collection: question mark icon Larger collection to which manuscript belongs. KYP A8
Archive name: Heidelberg Library
State of edition:







Dimensions (cm): Height: 21.1 Width: 13.45 Depth:
Dimensions (notes):

Folios measure 21.1 x 26.9cm (Mößner and Nauerth 2015: p. 312)

Folding pattern:
State of preservation:


Pages/Columns: question mark icon Total surviving columns in the manuscript for rolls, sheets and rotuli; total number of pages for codices.


Pages/Columns (notes):

20 page codex, made from 3 bifolios and four sheets. Written pages 2-17.


Deacon Iohannes


Arsinoites (Fayum), Egypt (?)

(TM places ID: 332)
Place of purchase:

Cairo, Egypt

(TM places ID: 2740)

Arsinoites (Fayum), Egypt (?)

(TM places ID: 332)
Present Location:

Heidelberg, Institut für Papyrologie

Collection History:

Purchased from Maurice Nahman in Cairo in 1933 (Gardner and Johnston 2019: p. 32). Lost in 1945, perhaps related to the Second World War, recovered in 2010 (Untermann 2011: p. 5).

Trismegistos collection: question mark icon Page on the database Trismegistos collections for the institution which currently houses the manuscript. 156
Collection website:


Numbering in brackets of the recipes indicates the numbering in Kropp 1966, which does not correspond to line numbers.

Editions: Kropp, Angelicus. Der Lobpreis des Erzengels Michael (vormals P. Heidelberg Inv. Nr. 1686). Brussels : Fondation égyptologique reine Elisabeth, 1966.
Translations: Meyer, Marvin W., and Richard Smith. Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power. Princeton (New Jersey): Princeton University Press, 1999, p. 326-341, no. 135.
General: Bélanger Sarrazin, Roxanne. “Les appels au « Jésus guérisseur » dans les formules iatromagiques coptes”, in Études coptes XVI. Dix-huintième journée dàétudes (Bruxelles, 22-24 juin 2017) (Cahiers de la bibiothèque copte 23), edited by Anne Boud’hors, Esther Garel, Catherine Louis and Naïm Vanthieghem. Paris: Éditions de Boccard, 2020, p. 188-190.
Bilabel, Friedrich, and Adolf Grohmann. Griechische, koptische und arabische Texte zur Religion und religiösen Literatur in Ägyptens Spätzeit. Heidelberg: Verlag der Universitätsbibliothek, 1934, p. 392.
Camplani, Alberto. "'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani'. Pluralità dei linguiaggi religiosi e loro rielaborazione rituale in alcune preghiere magihche copte," Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 76.1 (2010): p. 146.
Gardner, Iain, and Jay Johnston. “‘I, Deacon Iohannes, Servant Of Michael’: A New Look at P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 682 and a Possible Context for the Heidelberg Magical Archive.” Journal of Coptic Studies 21 (2019): p. 51-53.
Johnston, Jay, and Gardner, Iain. "Relations of Image, Text and Design Elements in Selected Amulets and Spells of the Heidelberg Papyri Collection." In Bild und Schrift auf 'magischen' Artefakten, edited by edited by Sarah Kiyanrad, Christoffer Theis and Laura Willer, De Gruyter, 2018, 139-148.
Mößner, Tamara, and Claudia Nauerth. “Koptische Text und ihre Bilder.” In Ägyptische Magie und ihre Umwelt, edited by Andrea Jördens, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015, p. 312; p. 348-350.
Quecke, Hans. "Erhebet euch, Kinder des Lichtes." Le Museon 76 (1963): p. 247, n. 3.
Tsakos, Alexandros. "Miscellanea Epigraphica Nubica V: The Names of the Four Creatures of the Apocalypse in Christian Nubia", Collectanea Christiana Orientalia 11 (2014): p. 259-261.
Untermann, Matthias (editor). Ägyptische Magie im Wandel der Zeiten: eine Ausstellung des Instituts für Papyrologie in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Institut für Ägyptologie der Universität Heidelberg. Heidelberg: Universitätsmuseum Heidelberg, 2011, p. 42-43.
van der Vliet, Jacques. "Tradition and Innovation: Writing Magic in Christian Egypt," in Rituals in Early Christianity: New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation, edited by Nienke M. Vos and Albert C. Geljon. Leiden: Brill, 2020, p. 273-274.

Trismegistos ID:


PGM: question mark icon Papyri Gracae Magicae SM: question mark icon Supplementum Magicum GEMF: question mark icon Greek and Egyptian Magical Formularies (forthcoming) ACM: question mark icon Ancient Christian Magic


Bélanger Sarrazin: question mark icon Bélanger-Sarrazin. “Catalogue des textes magiques coptes”


AKZ: question mark icon Ausgewählte koptische Zaubertexte CBd: question mark icon Campbell-Bonner Magical Gems Database Mert.-Pack: question mark icon Mertens-Pack online database
Van H: question mark icon van Haelst, Catalogue des papyrus littéraires Bruyn-Dijkstra: question mark icon de Bruyn and Dijkstra, “Greek Amulets and Formularies (Checklist)" TheDefix: question mark icon Thesaurus Defixionum To Zodion:
Edit History:

EL (25/9/2018); KD (29/3/2019); MPS (3/7/2019); KD (13/9/2019); MPS (7/9/2020); KD (17/11/2020); KD (16/3/2021); KD (25/5/2021); KD (28/5/2021); MPS (1/11/2022); KD (20/12/2022)

How to cite:
Korshi Dosoo, Edward O.D. Love & Markéta Preininger (chief editors). "KYP M166," Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects, Accessed on 02/12/2023

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