Manuscript: M129

PCM 1 8
P. Mich. Inv. 4932f

Text no. question mark icon Position of the text within the manuscript.1
Coptic Scriptorium:
Date: 501 – 700

Text position:

Ro ll. 1-20, Vo ll. 1-10

Type of text:

Love spell (magical, formulary, erotic)

Original title:
Original title (translated):
Conventional title: Love spell invoking oil


Egyptian (Coptic)


Sahidic with Fayumic features (?)




Text: Translation:


1. ⳨ ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲡⲛⲉϩ • ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ
2. ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲉⲧϩⲁⲧⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲁ ⲡⲉⲑⲣⲟⲛⲟⲥ ⲛⲓⲁⲱ
3. ⲥⲁⲃⲁⲱⲑ • ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲛ̅ⲧⲁⲏⲥⲉ ⲧⲁϩⲥϥ ⲛⲕⲉ-
4. ⲉⲥ ⲛⲉⲩⲥⲓⲣ • ϯⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲕ ⲡⲛⲉϩ • ⲡⲣⲏ ⲙⲛ̣
5. ⲡⲟⲟϩ • ⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲕ • ⲛⲥⲓⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲡⲉ ⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ
6. ⲉⲣⲟⲕ • ⲛ̅ⲣⲉϥⲡⲱϣⲛ ⲙⲡⲣⲏ ⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲕ
7. ϯⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉϫⲟⲟⲩⲕ ⲉⲕⲉⲃⲱⲕ • ⲧⲁⲛⲧⲕ ⲛⲅ-
8. ⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲇͅⲇͅ ⲉⲣⲁⲧ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲇͅⲇͅ ⲛⲅⲧⲣⲉⲡⲁⲙⲏ̣
9. ϣⲱ̣[ⲡⲉ] ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲥϩⲏⲧ ⲛ̅ⲧⲉⲡⲱⲥ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡⲱⲓ
10. [ⲛⲑⲉ] ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲱⲛ ⲙⲛ ⲟⲩⲥⲱⲛⲉ • ⲙⲛ̅ ⲟⲩⲗⲁⲃⲟⲓ
11. [ⲉⲥⲟⲩ]ⲱϣ ⲉϯϫⲓ ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ • ⲁⲓⲟ ⲁⲓⲟ ϯ-
12. [ⲧⲁⲣ]ⲕⲁ ⲙⲙⲟⲕ ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉϫⲱϥ ϩⲛ ⲧⲡⲉ
13. ⲉⲣⲉⲣⲁⲧϥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲣⲉϩⲏ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲟ ⲛϩⲁ
14. ⲛⲉⲥⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲁϩⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲟ ⲛϩⲁ ⲇⲣⲁⲕⲱ̅
15. ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉⲧⲡⲉ ⲧⲏ ⲛ̅ⲕⲁ’ⲕⲓ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲁϣⲉ ⲛⲥ̣ⲟ̣ⲕ̣
16. ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲣⲓⲕⲉ ⲛⲉ[ . ] . [ ca. 17 ]
17. ⲛ̣ⲉϩⲓⲟⲙⲉ ⲉⲧ[ ca. 18 ]
18. [ . ]. ⲥ ⲉⲧϩⲓϫ[ⲛ ca. 17 ]
19. [ . . ]ⲭⲟⲩⲃⲁ . [ ca. 18 ]
20. [ . . . . ] . . [ ca. 20 ]


1. ⧸⳨⧹ ϯⲛⲁⲡⲟⲣⲕϥ ⲟⲩⲡⲉⲛⲓⲡⲉ ϯⲛⲁⲃⲟⲗϥ
2. ⲉⲃⲟⲗ • ⲙⲡⲱⲣ ⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ • ⲙⲡⲣⲧⲁⲁⲧ
3. ⲉⲧⲟ̣ⲟ̣ⲧϥ ⲛ̅ⲇⲓⲙⲉⲗⲟⲩⲭⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲧϩⲣⲁⲓ
4. ⲉϫⲛ̅ ⲧⲕⲣⲓⲥⲓⲥ • ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ϯⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉⲧ-
5. ⲣⲉⲕⲃⲱⲕ ⲉⲡⲉⲥⲏⲧ ⲉⲁⲙⲛⲧⲉ ⲛ̅ⲅ̅ⲡⲱ-
6. ⲣ̅ⲕ̅ ⲛⲙⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲇⲓⲁⲃⲟⲗⲟⲥ
7. ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ̈ ⲉϫ̅ⲛ̅ ⲙⲉϣⲉ ⲛⲓⲙ̅ ⲡⲇͅⲇͅ •
8. ⲛ̅ⲅ̅ⲧⲣⲉⲡⲁⲙⲉ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲥϩ̣[ⲏⲧ]
9. ⲛ̅ⲧⲉⲡⲱⲥ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡⲱⲓ̈ ϫⲉ ⲁⲛ[ⲟⲕ]
10. ⲡ̣[ⲉ]ⲧⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲧⲟⲕ ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉ ⲡⲟⲩⲱϣ

[1] ⳨ O oil, O oil, O oil, O holy oil! [2] O oil which flows from beneath the throne of Iao [3] Sabaoth! O oil with which Isis anointed the bones [4] of Osiris! I call to you, O oil! The sun and [5] the moon call to you! The stars of the sky call [6] to you! The servants of the sun call to you! [7] I want to send you; you will go and I will bring you so that you will [8] bring NN, child of NN, to me, I, NN, child of NN, and you will cause my love [9] to be in the her heart, and hers to be in mine [10] [like] a brother and a sister, and ⟨like⟩ a she-bear [11] [who] wants to suckle her offspring, yea, yea! I [12] adjure you, he whose head is in heaven, [13] whose feet are in the abyss, whose forepart has the appearance of a [14] sheep, whose hindpart has the appearance of a serpent, [15] he from whom the whole sky and (?) of all darkness hangs, [16] while the turning … [17] the women who … [18] … which is upon […] [19] …khouba…

“…, [Verso, 1] ⳨ I will tear it out; iron, I will dissolve it”.

[2] “No, my lord, do not hand me [3] over to Temeluchus, he who is set [4] over the judgement, rather I want [5] you to go down to hell and tear out [6] all the thoughts of the Devil [7] concerning NN, the ⟨child of⟩ NN [8] and you cause my love to be in her [heart] [9] and hers to be in mine, for it is I [10] who calls, ⟨and⟩ you are the one who does the desire.”

Tracing by:



2. ⲑⲣⲟⲛⲟⲥ i.e. Greek θρόνος
3. ⲥⲁⲃⲁⲱⲑ : ⲥⲁⲃ ⲁⲱⲑ pap. vacat due to hole in parchment
3-4. ⲛⲕⲉⲉⲥ i.e. Sahidic ⲛ̅-ⲛ-ⲕⲉⲉⲥ
4. ⲙⲛ̣ : ⲙ i.e. Sahidic ⲙⲛ̅ Worrell
8. ⲇͅⲇͅ l. ⲇ(ⲉ)ⲓ(ⲛⲁ) ⲇ(ⲉ)ⲓ(ⲛⲁ) i.e. Greek δεῖνα δεῖνa (twice)
9. ϣⲱ̣[ⲡⲉ] : ϣ[ⲱⲡⲉ] Worrell
11. [ⲉⲥⲟⲩ]ⲱϣ Crum CD 752a : [ϯⲟⲩ]ⲱϣ Worrell | ⲉϯϫⲓ : translate “to beget” Worrell | ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ l. ⲛ̅ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ (haplography)
12. [ⲧⲁⲣ]ⲕⲁ : [ⲡⲁⲣⲁ]ⲕⲁ i.e. Greek παρακαλεῖν Worrell
13. ⲉⲣⲉϩⲏ corrected from ⲉⲣⲉⲓ̣ⲏ by overwriting | ⲟ ⲛϩⲁ : ⲟⲛ ϩⲁ Worrell, Skiles
14. ⲟ ⲛϩⲁ : ⲟⲛ ϩⲁ Worrell, Skiles | ⲇⲣⲁⲕⲱ̅ l. ⲛ̅ⲇⲣⲁⲕⲱⲛ i.e. Greek δράκων
15. ⲧⲏ l. ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉⲧⲡⲉ ⲧⲏ⟨ⲣⲥ ⲙ⟩ⲛ ⲕⲁⲕⲉ ? : i.e. Sahidic ⲛ̅ⲧⲉ Worrell : i.e. Old Coptic ⲧⲏ “underworld” Crum CD 392a Polotsky | ⲛ̅ⲕⲁ’ⲕⲓ pap. : ⲛ̅ⲕⲁⲕⲓ Worrell | ⲛⲥ̣ⲟ̣ⲕ̣ i.e. Sahidic ⲛ̅ⲥⲱ⸗ⲕ : ⲛ̅ⲛ̣[ⲁϩⲣⲁϥ] : Worrell
16. ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲣⲓⲕⲉ ⲛⲉ[ : l. ⲡⲣⲓⲕⲉ ⲛⲛⲉ[ϥⲃⲁⲗ] translate “while the winking of his eyes…” (“mentre l’ammiccare dei suoi occhi…”) Polotsky, Pernigotti
17. ⲛ̣ⲉϩⲓⲟⲙⲉ : [ . ]ⲉϩⲓⲟⲙⲉ Worrell
19. ⲭⲟⲩⲃⲁ corrected from ⲃⲟⲩⲃⲁ by overwriting


1. ⲟⲩⲡⲉⲛⲓⲡⲉ l. ⲛ̅ⲟⲩⲡⲉⲛⲓⲡⲉ Worrell, Skiles
4. ⲕⲣⲓⲥⲓⲥ i.e. Greek κρίσις | ⲁⲗⲗⲁ i.e. Greek ἀλλά
6. ⲇⲓⲁⲃⲟⲗⲟⲥ i.e. Greek διάβολος
7. ⲡⲇͅⲇͅ l. ⲡ⟨ϣⲉ⟩ ⲛ̅-ⲇ(ⲉ)ⲓ(ⲛⲁ) ⲇ(ⲉ)ⲓ(ⲛⲁ) i.e. Greek δεῖνα δεῖνa
8. ⲛ̅ⲅ̅ⲧⲣⲉⲡⲁⲙⲉ corrected from ⲛ̅ⲅ̅ⲧⲑ̣ⲉⲡⲁⲙⲉ by overwriting
10. ⲡ̣[ⲉ]ⲧⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ : [ⲡⲉ]ⲧⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ Worrell | ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉ i.e. Sahidic ⲡ-ⲉⲧ-ⲣ̅ : l. ⲡⲉⲧⲉⲓⲣⲉ Worrell | ⲡⲟⲩⲱϣ l. ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲱϣ Worrell



10. ⲙⲛ̅ ⲟⲩⲗⲁⲃⲟⲓ Worrell, following a suggestion of Youtie, suggests that this text is translated from a Greek original, in which an original καὶ γάρ οὕτως (“and indeed thus”) was miscopied as καὶ ἄρκτος; the original translation of ll. 9-11 according to this reconstruction would have been “and make my love arise in her heart. and hers in mine, in the manner of a brother and a sister, and indeed thus I desire to beget her children”. This seems unnecessary, though, given the frequent use of animal metaphors to describe emotion; cf. P. CtYBR inv. 1791 Vo ll. 17.18 (M284/T330): “until she becomes like [black] dogs … which are mad for their children” (ϣⲁⲛ̅ⲧⲉ̣ⲥⲉⲣ ⲑⲉ ⲛ̅ⲛⲓⲟⲩϩⲱⲱⲣ ⲛⲕ̣[ⲁⲙⲉ]ⲉⲧⲗⲟⲃⲉ ⲛ̅ⲥⲁ ⲉⲩϣ[ⲏ]ⲣⲉ) and P. Berlin 8314 ll.8-9 (M77/T58) “a black dog, whose children he is about to take away before her eyes” ⲟⲩϩⲟⲣⲉ ⲕⲁⲙⲉ ⲉϥⲛⲁⲃⲓ ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲉϩⲟⲛ ⲓⲁⲧⲥ. Polotsky, while accepting similar parallels, proposes to read [ⲉⲩⲟⲩ]ⲱϣ ⲉ{ϯ}ϫⲓ ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ “a lioness whose children one wants to take” (“eine Löwin, deren Junge man [sic] wegnehmen will”).Here we translate “she-bear”, but the word ⲗⲁⲃⲟⲓ originally, and still, had the alternative meaning of “lioness”.
13-14. ⲉⲣⲉϩⲏ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲟ ⲛϩⲁ ⲛⲉⲥⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲁϩⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲟ ⲛϩⲁ ⲇⲣⲁⲕⲱ̅ Worrell translates “In front of him being (what is) under the Sheep, behind him being (what is) under Draco”, with Skiles following him (“before whom is (what) is also under the Sheep (pl.), behind whom is (what) is also under Draco”). Both understand “the Sheep” to be a constellation, paralleling Draco.


5-7. ⲛ̅ⲅ̅ⲡⲱⲣ̅ⲕ̅ ⲛⲙⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲇⲓⲁⲃⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ̈ ⲉϫ̅ⲛ̅ ⲙⲉϣⲉ ⲛⲓⲙ̅ ⲡⲇͅⲇͅ Polotsky understands this phrase to mean something like “fill NN child of NN with thoughts snatched from the Devil”, comparing P. Heid. Kopt. 684 p. 5, ll. 22-23 (M148/T15): “her mind will have devilish thoughts” (ⲡⲉⲥⲛⲟⲩⲥ ⲉⲣ ⲙⲉⲟⲩⲉ ⲛ̅ⲧⲓⲁⲃⲱⲗⲓⲕⲱⲛ), but this would seem to require the addition of another verb.


Skiles, Stephen H., in Marvin W. Meyer, and Richard Smith. Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power. Princeton (New Jersey): Princeton University Press, 1999, p. 175-176, no. 82.

Pernigotti, Sergio. “La magia copta: I testi.” In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, edited by Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase, II.18.5, 3685–3730. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1995, p. 3713-3714, no. 18.

Polotsky, Hans Jakob. “Zwei koptische Liebeszauber”, Orientalia N.S. 6 (1937): 119-131

Worrell, William H. “Coptic Magical and Medical Texts. (Continued).” Orientalia, NOVA SERIES 4 (1935): 184-187, no. 5.


Transcript by Worrell entered by KD (22/3/2019); edition by EL (27/5/2020); KD and Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin from photographs (28/7/2021); team (30/7/2021); JS (12(1/2023)

How to cite:
Korshi Dosoo, Edward O.D. Love & Markéta Preininger (chief editors). "KYP T343: Love spell invoking oil," Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects, Accessed on 18/05/2024

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