Studies in the Syriac Magical Traditions


Editors: and
The study of the Syriac magical traditions has largely been marginalised within Syriac studies, with the earliest treatments displaying a disparaging attitude towards both the culture and its magical practices. Despite significant progress in more recent scholarship in respect of the culture, its magical practices and their associated literatures remain on the margins of the scholarly imagination. This volume aims to open a discussion on the history of the field, to evaluate how things have progressed, and to suggest a fruitful way forward. In doing so, this volume demonstrates the incredible riches contained within the Syriac magical traditions, and the necessity of their study.

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Marco Moriggi (PhD 2003, Università di Firenze) is Associate Professor in Semitic Philology at the Università di Catania. His research interests include Syriac incantation bowls, Syriac language, Aramaic epigraphy in late antique Mesopotamia and the Gulf, and Aramaic dialectology.

Siam Bhayro (PhD 2000, University College London) is Associate Professor in Early Jewish Studies at the University of Exeter. His research interests include the Bible, Semitic languages, medicine in the Christian and Islamic orient, and Jewish magic.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

1 Syriac Studies and Magic: An Introduction
Siam Bhayro and Marco Moriggi

2 Syriac Magic: An Overview of Previous Approaches and Prospects for the Future
Abigail Pearson

3 Syriac Magic and Medicine: A Near-Eastern Paradigm of Priestcraft
Siam Bhayro

4 Syriac Incantation Bowls and the Mesopotamian Context: A Glimpse into Christian-Jewish Cultural Interactions
Marco Moriggi

5 More on the ‘Book of Protection’ and the Syriac ‘Charms’: New Texts and Perspectives for the Study of Magic and Religion
Michael Zellmann-Rohrer

6 Traces of a Storied Universe: Biblical Figures and Motifs in Late-Antique Syriac Amulets
Nils H. Korsvoll

7 Soundings in the Textual History of Syriac Amulets
David Calabro

8 Syriac Magic and the Contemporary Christian Milieu: Continuity or Discontinuity?
Gaby Abousamra

9 A Mandaean Lamella and Its Parallels: BM 132957 + BM 132947 + BM 132954
Matthew Morgenstern and Ohad Abudraham

Index of Subjects
Index of Texts
Anyone interested in Syriac, Eastern Christianity, and the history of magic and medicine, from Antiquity to the Modern Period, and critical reflections on the study of the Syriac magical traditions.
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