The Magical Ceremony Maqlû

A Critical Edition


The Akkadian series Maqlû, 'Burning', remains the most important magical text against witchcraft from Mesopotamia and perhaps from the entire ancient Near East. Maqlû is a nine-tablet work consisting of the text of almost 100 incantations and accompanying rituals directed against witches and witchcraft. The work prescribes a single complex ceremony and stands at the end of a complex literary and ceremonial development. Thus, Maqlû provides important information not only about the literary forms and cultural ideas of individual incantations, but also about larger ritual structures and thematic relations of complex ceremonies. This new edition of the standard text contains a synoptic edition of all manuscripts, a composite text in transliteration, an annotated transcription and translation.

"These were only minor remarks scribbled in the margins of an excellent and most welcome edition of Maqlû, a real monument. This book is the firm foundation on which future studies on Maqlû will be based." Marten Stol, NINO Leiden, Bibliotheca Orientalis lxxIII n° 5-6, September-December 2016

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Tzvi Abusch, Ph.D. (1972), Harvard University, is Cohen Professor of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Religion at Brandeis University. His primary fields of publication are Mesopotamian religion and literature. Some of his early studies on Babylonian witchcraft are found in Mesopotamian Witchcraft (Brill, 2002). He is co-author along with Daniel Schwemer of Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals (Brill, 2011-).
"This book is the firm foundation on which future studies on Maqlû will be based." -Marten Stol, Dutch Institute for the Near East, Bibliotheca Orientalis, vol. 73, no. 5-6 (2016)
General Introduction
Abbreviations and Symbols
Chapter 1: Synoptic Edition of Maqlû
Chapter 2: Composite Transliteration of Maqlû
Chapter 3: Transcription and Translation of Maqlû
Appendix A: Maqlû Colophons
Appendix B: Maqlû Commentaries
Bibliography - Maqlû and Related
Bibliography - Other Cited
All those interested in the history of witchcraft beliefs, magic, and medicine in antiquity, as well as students of the ancient Near East, ancient Egypt and the Bible.
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