Aramaic Incantation Texts from Nippur
In 1888 the University of Pennsylvania sponsored the first ever American archaeological expedition to Mesopotamia, to Nippur, about 160 km south of Baghdad. Among the artefacts discovered were the remains of over 100 inscribed bowls from the early centuries CE. Some contain unidentifiable writing, but most carry spiral inscriptions of exorcism texts in one of three Aramaic dialects and scripts: that of the Babylonian Talmud, a Syriac dialect, and Mandaic. This book, first published in 1913, contains transcriptions and annotated translations of texts from forty of the bowls, together with an inscription found on a human skull, and 41 illustrations. A substantial introduction sets the material in the broader context of Hellenistic magic. The author traces the bowl magic back to ancient Babylonian sorcery, and explores its relations with cuneiform religious texts and Greek magical papyri, emphasising its culturally eclectic character and the diversity of its users.
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Abbahu Abraxas adjure Ahath Amen amulet ancient angel appears Apuleius Arabic Aramaic BABYL Babylonian magic Blau bowls Broken and mended character cited Commentary A charm curse deity demonology demons Devils dialect Dieterich ditto divine name divorce Egyptian Ellis Enoch epithet Etpe evil spirits exorcism formula Glossary gods Gram Greek magic heaven Hebrew Hellenistic hypocoristic incantation inscription invocation Jastrow Jewish Jewish magic Jews Joshua Justi Labartu legend Lidz Lidzbarski Lilith Lord Mand Mandaic Marduk Metatron Michael Myhr Myhrman Nippur Noldeke Nuriel obscure Palmyrene papyri parallel Payne-Smith Perahia Persian Peshitto phrase PLATE plur plural Pogn Pognon Poimandres probably PSBA published Rabbinic reference Reitzenstein religion root Sarkoi Satan Schw F Schwab script seal SECTION VOL Selah Semitic sorcerer spell Stiibe Syriac Talmud Targumic texts thee Translation UNIVERSITY MUSEUM verb Wessely Wohls Wohlstein word Yhwh ZDMG