The Wisdom of Thoth: Magical Texts in Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations [Paperback]

Grażyna Bąkowska-Czerner(Editor); Alessandro Roccati(Editor); Agata Świerzowska(Editor)

ISBN: 9781784912475 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2016 | 132p, H11.5 x W8, Illustrated throughout in color and black & white
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The Wisdom of Thoth


This volume represents a selection of contributions on Mediterranean themes from a wider international interdisciplinary conference on Magical Texts in Ancient Civilizations, organised by the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilizations at Jagiellonian University in Kraków in Poland between 27-28 June 2013. The meeting welcomed researchers from Hungary, Italy, Poland and Ukraine, covering various disciplines including comparative civilizations, comparative religions, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, history and philosophy. In the past ‘magic’ was often misunderstood as irrational behaviour, in contrast to the tradition of philosophical or rational thought mostly based on Greek models. Evidence collected from ancient high cultures, like that of Pharaonic Egypt, includes massive amounts of documents and treatises of all kinds related to what has been labelled ‘magic’. Today it cannot be written off as merely a primitive or ‘lesser human’ phenomenon: the awareness of magic remains to the present day in many societies, at all social levels, and has not been generally replaced by what might be considered as more advanced thinking. The researches in this volume focus heavily on Egypt (in particular Predynastic, Pharaonic, Hellenistic, Roman and Christian evidence), but Near Eastern material was also presented from Pagan (Ugaritic) and Christian (Syriac) times.

Table of Contents

Preface (Alessandro Roccati)

Thoth on magical gems (Grażyna Bąkowska-Czerner, Agata Świerzowska)

Magic in the sign: iconic writings in the Litany of Neith at Esna and the performative nature of the divine name(Esna 216.1–4) (Emanuele M. Ciampini)

Genius loci. Some religious and magical aspects of graffiti in the ‘tomb of Memnon’ (Ramesses VI) in the Valley of the Kings (Adam Łukaszewicz)

Egyptian Predynastic tokens – traces of magic or economic activity? The beginnings of abstract writing and calculating system or a relic of early magical practices (Piotr Kołodziejczyk)

The protection of the body in ancient Egyptian texts (Edyta Kopp)

Alphabetic magic: traces of a new version of the Cyranides (Attilio Mastrocinque)

Jesus in ancient pagan magic: the Anna Perenna drawings (György Németh)

Magic in the iconography of 21st Dynasty coffins and papyri (Andrzej Niwiński)

The discovery of the fountain of Anna Perenna and its influence on the study of ancient magic. (Marina Piranomonte)

The Pyramid Texts as Magical Texts? (Joanna Popielska-Grzybowska)

Ramesside magical books in Turin (Alessandro Roccati)

Magicians’ instruments in PGM and the archaeological evidence: some examples (Carla Sfameni)

Egyptian Theological Lore in PGM IV: a religious-historical commentary (Giulia Sfameni Gasparro)

Sorcery among powerless corpses. An interpretation of the ‘restless dead’ in Greek curses, imprecations and verse inscriptions (Andrzej Wypustek)

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