Traditions of Magic in Late Antiquity

This site, from the (relatively) early days of the web, is the result of an exhibit at the Kelsey Museum of the University of Michigan, curated in 1996 by Gideon Bohak, who has recently published Ancient Jewish Magic: A History (Cambridge, 2008).  Included are “Recipe books,” papyri with instructions for assembling various ingredients as part of the spell; a particularly rich collection of papyri amulets and gems, mostly from Campbell Bonner’s Studies in Magical Amulets: Chiefly Graeco-Egyptian (Ann Arbor, 1950), including the famous cock-headed anguiped “IAO;” a smaller collection of inscribed bowls from Seleucia-on-Tigris (one in Mandaic); and examples described as “aggressive magic,” including P.Mich. inv. 1444, a fascinating curse written by Apa Victor (an ascetic?) against “Alo daughter of Alese.”  All of these sections include images and brief discussion.  This is a model online exhibit, especially useful for teaching purposes.  The University of Michigan Library is to be commended for continuing to host it.

http://www.lib.umich.edu/traditions-magic-late-antiquity/

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