Manuscript: M120

PCM 1 6
Hs. Schmidt 1

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

Text position:

Ro ll. 1-25

Type of text:

Sleep (?) (healing, magical, formulary)
Love spell (?) (magical, formulary)

Original title:
Original title (translated):
Conventional title: Formula for sleep (or love spell ?)


Egyptian (Coptic)


Sahidic (non-standard)




Text: Translation:

1. ⳨ ⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲉϩⲱⲣ ⲉϥⲣⲓⲙⲉ · ⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲉϩⲱⲣ
2. ⲉϥⲁϣⲁϩⲟⲙ ϫⲉ ⲁⲓϩⲓⲥⲉ ⲟⲩⲟⲑ ⲉⲥⲁϣϥⲉ ⲛ̅-
3. ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲉ ϫⲓⲛ ⲉⲡϣⲟⲙⲧⲉ ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ϣⲁϫⲡ-
4. ϥⲧⲟ ⲛ̅ⲧⲉⲩϣⲏ ⲙⲡⲉⲟⲩⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲩ ϩⲓⲛⲏⲃ
5. ⲙⲡⲉⲓ̈ⲟⲩⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲩ ϫⲓ ⲣⲉⲕⲣⲓⲕⲉ · ⲁⲏⲥⲉ ⲧⲉϥ-
6. ⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲣ̅ ⲟⲩⲱ ⲛⲁϥ ⲛ̅ϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲣ̅ⲡⲉ ⲛ̅ϩⲁⲃⲓⲛ ·
7. ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲉⲥϩⲟ ⲕⲉⲧ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉϫⲛ̅ ⲥⲁϣϥⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲉ
8. ⲉⲣⲉⲥⲁϣϥⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲉ ⲕⲏⲧ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲉⲥ-
9. ϩⲟ · ϫⲉ ϩⲱⲣ ⲁϩⲣⲟⲕ ⲉⲕⲣⲓⲙⲉ ϩⲱⲣ ⧹ⲁ⧸ϩⲣⲟⲕ ⲉⲕ-
10. ⲁϣⲁϩⲟⲙ ϫⲉ ⲛ̣̅ⲧⲉ̣ⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲧⲁⲣⲓⲙⲉ ⲁⲛ ⲛ̅ⲧⲉ-
11. ⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲧⲁⲁϣⲁϩⲟⲙ ⲁⲛ ϫⲓⲛ ⲉⲡϫⲡϣⲟⲙⲧⲉ
12. ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ϣⲁϫⲡϥⲧⲟ ⲛ̅ⲧⲉⲩϣⲏ · ⲉⲓⲟⲩⲱⲑ
13. ⲉⲥⲁϣϥⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲟⲩⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲩ ϩⲓⲛⲏϥ
14. ⲙⲡⲉⲟⲩⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲩ ϫⲓⲣⲉⲕⲣⲓⲕⲉ · ⲕⲁⲉⲓ ⲙⲡⲉ̣[ⲕϭⲛⲧ]
15. ⲙⲡⲉⲕϭⲓⲛⲉ ⲙⲡⲁⲣⲁⲛ · ϫⲓ ⲛⲁⲕ ⲛⲟⲩⲁⲡⲟ[ⲧ ϩⲓ]
16. ⲟⲩϣⲏⲙ ⲙⲟⲟⲩ · ⲉⲓⲉ ⲟⲩⲕⲟ[ⲩⲓ ⲛⲛⲓ-]
17. ⲃⲉ ⲉⲓⲉ ⲛⲛⲓⲃⲉ ⲛ̅ⲣⲱⲕ ⲉⲓⲉ̣ ⲛⲛⲓϥⲉ ⲛ̅ϣ̣[ⲁⲛⲧⲕ]
18. ⲛ̅ⲅ̅ⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲡⲉⲥⲏⲧ ⲉϫⲱⲟⲩ ϫ̣ⲉ ⲡⲕⲉ̅ⲭⲏ̣[ . . . . ]
19. ⲡⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ ⲥⲛⲁⲩ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲟⲩⲱϩ ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧⲟⲩ ⲁⲩ[ϩⲓ-]
20. ⲛⲏϥ ⲉϫⲛ ⲁϥⲧⲓⲙⲉⲗⲉⲭ ⲛ̅ϣⲃⲉ ⲥⲛⲟⲟⲥ̣ ⲉⲛ[ⲣⲟⲙⲡⲉ]
21. ⲟⲩⲱϩ ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲉϫⲙ̅ ⲇͅⲇͅ ⲛ̅ⲧⲉⲧ[ⲛ-]
22. ϩⲣⲟϣ ⲉϫⲛ̅ ⲧϥⲁⲡⲉ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲕⲟⲧ ⲛ̅ⲥⲓⲕⲉ ⲉϫⲛ ⲛϥ-
23. ⲃⲁⲗ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲟⲩϭⲟⲟⲩⲛⲉ ⲛϣⲱ ϣⲁⲛϯϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ
24. ⲙⲡⲁⲏⲧⲏⲙⲁ ⲧⲁⲉⲓⲣⲉ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲙⲡⲁϩⲏⲧ
25. ⲉⲧⲓ ⲉⲧⲓ ⲧⲁⲭⲏ ⲧⲁⲭⲏ

[1] ⳨ Listen to Horus, crying, listen to Horus, [2] groaning: “I have suffered, melting for seven [3] women (?) from the third ⟨hour⟩ of the day until the [4] fourth hour of the night. Not one of them sleeps, [5] not one of them dozes.”

Isis, his [6] mother, replied to him from within the temple of Habin, [7] her face turned towards seven women (?), [8] seven women (?) turned towards her face. “Horus, why are you crying? Horus, why are you [10] groaning?”

“Do you not want me to cry? Do you [11] want me to not groan from the third hour [12] of the day to the fourth hour of the night? I am melting [13] for seven women (?). Not one of them sleeps, [14] not one of them dozes.”

“Even if (?) [you] did not [find me], [15] and you did not find my name, take a cup [and] [16] a little water, whether a little [17] breath or a breath of your mouth or a breath of [your nose], [18] and recite down over them, ‘O … [19] O two angels through whom [20] sleep was set upon Ebed-Melech for seventy-two [years], [21] set sleep upon NN, child of NN, make [22] his head heavy like a millstone, upon his [23] eyes like a sack of sand, until I complete [24] my demand, and I fulfil the desire of my heart, [25] now, now, quickly quickly!’”

Tracing by:


2. ⲟⲩⲟⲑ i.e. Sahidic ⲟⲩⲱⲑ+ l. ⲉ⸗ⲓ̈-ⲟⲩⲱⲑ ? cf. l. 12 : translate “desiring” ? (“indem ich begehre”, “di desiderio”) l. ⲟⲩⲱϣ or ⲱⲧϩ ? Kropp, Pernigotti : l. ⲱⲧϩ Martín Hernández/Torallas Tovar : l. ⲟⲩⲁⲁⲧ⸗⊘ Blumell/Dosoo
2-3. ⲛ̅ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲉ l. ⲛ̅-ⲟⲩⲥⲉ ? (dittography)
3. ϫⲓⲛ ⲉ-ⲡ-ϣⲟⲙⲧⲉ l. ϫⲓⲛ ⲉ-ⲡ-ϫⲡ-ϣⲟⲙⲧⲉ cf. the same in l. 11 | ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ i.e. Sahidic. ⲙ̅-ⲡ-ϩⲟⲟⲩ
5. ⲙⲡⲉⲓ̈ⲟⲩⲉⲓ i.e. Sahidic ⲙ̅ⲡⲉ-ⲟⲩⲉⲓ
7. ⲕⲉⲧ i.e. Sahidic ⲕⲏⲧ+
11. ϫⲓⲛ ⲉⲡϫⲡϣⲟⲙⲧⲉ : l. ϫⲓⲛ ⲉϫⲡϣⲟⲙⲧⲉ Kropp
12. ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ i.e. Sahidic ⲙ̅-ⲡ-ϩⲟⲟⲩ | ⲉⲓⲟⲩⲱⲑ : translate “that I desire” ? (“da ich begehre”, “io desiderio”) l. ⲟⲩⲱϣ or ⲱⲧϩ ? Kropp, Pernigotti : l. ⲱⲧϩ Martín Hernández/Torallas Tovar
14. ⲕⲁⲉⲓ i.e. Greek κἄν ?
17. ⲉⲓⲉ̣ : ⲉⲓ[ⲉ] Kropp
18. ⲡⲕⲉ̅ⲭⲏ̣[ . . . . ] : ⲡⲕⲉ̅ⲭⲡ̣[ l. ⲡⲕⲉⲭⲉⲣⲟⲃ ⲃ̅ ? Kropp
19. ⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ i.e. Greek ἄγγελος
19-20. ⲁⲩ[ϩⲓ]ⲛⲏϥ i.e. Sahidic ⲉ-(ⲟ)ⲩ-ϩⲓⲛⲏⲃ
20. ⲉⲛ[ⲣⲟⲙⲡⲉ] i.e. Sahidic ⲛ̅-ⲣⲟⲙⲡⲉ
21. ⲇͅⲇͅ l. ⲇ(ⲉ)ⲓ(ⲛⲁ) ⲇ(ⲉ)ⲓ(ⲛⲁ) i.e. Greek δεῖνα δεῖνα
22. ⲧϥⲁⲡⲉ i.e. Sahidic ⲧⲉ⸗ϥ-ⲁⲡⲉ | ⲛϥ i.e. Sahidic ⲛⲉ⸗ϥ-
24. ⲏⲧⲏⲙⲁ i.e. Greek αἴτημα
25. ⲉⲧⲓ i.e. Greek ἤδη (twice) | ⲧⲁⲭⲏ i.e. Greek ταχύ (twice)


3, 7, 8, 13. ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲉ This word does not seem to be otherwise attested in Coptic. It may derive from the Demotic nsy (“prostitute (?)”; see Blumell/Dosoo 228-229, n. 76), or else from a contraction of the Greek παρθένος (“maiden”). We here choose the neutral translation “women”.
6. ⲉⲡⲣ̅ⲡⲉ ⲛ̅ϩⲁⲃⲓⲛ Habin (Hebenu) is the Graeco-Roman Alabastron Polis, modern Kom el-Ahmar (TM Geo ID 2684), which is known to have had a temple to Isis (see Blumell/Dosoo 233, n. 89).
16. ⲙⲟⲟⲩ · ⲉⲓⲉⲓ There is a large space between the two words; from the only image available to us, of very low quality, it is impossible to know if there is erased or damaged text here; in this translation we assume that there was not, since the sequence as it is seems to make sense.
20. ⲁⲃⲧⲓⲙⲉⲗⲗ̣ⲉⲭ This is Ebed-Melech (Αβδεμελεχ) the Kushite, who appears in Jeremiah LXX 45-46 (=38-39) and in 4 Baruch/Paraleipomena Ieremiou as Abimelech (Ἀβιμέλεχ), in which he is put to sleep for 66 years to be spared the destruction of Jerusalem; cf. Martín Hernández/Sofía Torallas Tovar 311.


Blumell, Lincoln and Korshi Dosoo. “Horus, Isis, and the Dark-Eyed Beauty: A Series of Magical Ostraca in the Brigham Young University Collection.” Archiv für Papyrusforschung 64 (2018): 199-259.

Kropp, Angelicus. Ausgewählte koptische Zaubertexte. Textpublikation. Vol. 1. Bruxelles: Édition de la Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, 1931, p. 11-12, no. A.

Kropp, Angelicus. Ausgewählte koptische Zaubertexte. Übersetzungen und Anmerkungen. Vol. 2. Bruxelles: Édition de la Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, 1931, p. 3-6, no. 1.

Meyer, Marvin W., and Richard Smith. Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power. Princeton (New Jersey): Princeton University Press, 1999, p. 94-95, no. 48.

Pernigotti, Sergio. “La magia copta: I testi.” In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 18.5, edited by Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1995, p. 3698, no. 1.

Pernigotti, Sergio. Testi della Magia Copta. Imola: Editrice La Mandragora, 2000, p. 52-53, no. 17.

Martín Hernández, Raquel, and Sofía Torallas Tovar. “‘You Who Impose Sleep Upon Abimelech For Seventy Two Years’: An Egyptian Spell Against Insomnia.” In Contesti magici = Contextos mágicos Convegno internazionale Contesti magici, contextos magicos edited by Marina Piranomonte and Francisco Marco Simón. Rome, 2012, p. 309-312.


EL’s edition from photograph of the original, incorporating Kropp (14/10/2018) (26/7/2021); KD, EL, RBS (28/7/2021); KD and Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin from photograph (28/7/2021); team (30/7/2021); JS (9/1/2023)

How to cite:
Korshi Dosoo, Edward O.D. Love & Markéta Preininger (chief editors). "KYP T74: Formula for sleep (or love spell ?)," Kyprianos Database of Ancient Ritual Texts and Objects, Accessed on 18/05/2024

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