First Man, First King

Notes on Semitic-Iranian Syncretism and Iranian Mythological Transformations


Shaul Shaked

Shaul Shaked


The article reports on a find of manuscripts of the eleventh century CE in Early New Persian, Early Judeo-Persian, Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic, recently discovered in Afghanistan. Some of the contents of this group of manuscripts is described, as well as the possible origins of the Jewish community where these documents were produced and kept. An example of a piece of poetry in commemoration of a deceased member of the community is given in transcription into Standard Persian. Some notes on the significance of these documents for studying the history of the Persian language and the dialect of Khorasan are supplied.

Officina Magica

Essays on the Practice of Magic in Antiquity

Edited by Shaul Shaked

This book discusses various aspects of the theory and practice of magic in antique cultures around the Mediterranean. While some of its contributors address problems of methodology of research into magic and the definition of magic, others deal with specific historical and textual issues. Although a major focus is on Jewish texts ranging from antiquity to the medieval period, the book also includes studies of several magical texts from ancient Mesopotamia and their impact on later magical practice, and studies of Greek and Zoroastrian texts and artifacts. The approaches thus range from the examination of textual or visual sources to theoretical issues such as the history of research and the definition of magic.