A corpus of magic bowls: incantation texts in Jewish Aramaic from late antiquity


Levene, Dan (2003) A corpus of magic bowls: incantation texts in Jewish Aramaic from late antiquity , London, GB, New York, US, Kegan Paul International; Columbia University Press, 236pp. (Kegan Paul Library of Jewish Studies).

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Description/Abstract

This book is a unique collection of Jewish magical texts from Late Antiquity. These consist of spells for protection against a wide variety of supernatural entities, demons, ghouls, and ghosts that were thought to be the cause of humanity's misfortunes. Texts in this collection include spells for the protection of the unborn and new-born baby and for warding off afflictions of the region of the head and belly, evil spirits in general, and human enemies. The magic bowls from which the incantations in this book have been transcribed are a form of amulet which was peculiar to the Mesopotamian regions of modern day Iran and Iraq of the fourth to seventh centuries A.D. These magical texts were individually commissioned by people whose names are usually mentioned within the texts. After having been written by sorcerer -scribes on the inside of earthenware bowls these were buried upside down under the floor of the client's house. These texts are an early testament to Jewish magical textual traditions, elements of which can be traced throughout history to modern-day practices. Levene's book makes available new and exciting material from an area of which little has been published so far.

Item Type: Book
ISBNs: 0710307268 (hardback)
5800088531985 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > History
ePrint ID: 12270
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2005
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:03
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/12270

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