Jewish aramaic curse texts from late-antique Mesopotamia

Levene, Dan (2013) Jewish aramaic curse texts from late-antique Mesopotamia, Leiden, NL, Brill, 164pp. (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity, 2).


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The corpus of Aramaic incantation bowls from Sasanian Mesopotamia is perhaps the most important source we have for studying the everyday beliefs and practices of the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, Manichaean, Zoroastrian and Pagan communities on the eve of the Islamic conquests. In Jewish Aramaic Curse Texts from Late-Antique Mesopotamia, Dan Levene collects and analyses a selection of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic incantation bowls. While such texts are usually apotropaic or healing in purpose, those collected here are distinctive in that their purpose was to curse or return curses against human adversaries. This book presents new editions of thirty texts, of which fourteen are edited here for the first time, with an introduction, commentary, analysis and glossaries, as well as photographs.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: The Jewish Aramaic magic bowl incantation texts, of which over a thousand are known to exist, are apotropaic - reputed to have the power of averting evil influence or ill luck. The evil influences they purport to rebut are overwhelmingly of a supernatural nature, yet there are a minority of texts in which a human origin to these ills is identified by name; essentially curses. This monograph includes a reliable edition of all the known texts of a sub genre such as these curses, accompanied by a discussion of them affords a rare opportunity to study a defined and manageable group of texts.
ISBNs: 9789004250925 (print)
9789004257269 (electronic)
ISSNs: 2211-016X (print)
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Organisations: History
ePrint ID: 337209
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Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2012 10:27
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 17:18
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