This site offers several substantial resources. First, a list of new publications (online and print) on epigraphic culture of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, last updated in January 2014, and covering the years 2008-2013; second, a list of online only resources appearing during the same period, this time listed according to region: Britain/ASE/Ireland; Gaul/Rheinland; Iberia; Italy; North Africa; and the Balkans. Clearly, these represent mostly Latin inscriptions, although other languages from these regions, including Celtic, Neo-Punic, and Hebrew. The databases in these lists include some of the major projects better known to scholars of the earlier Roman Empire, such as Hispania Epigraphica. There is further information on, e.g., professional organizations, links to digitized reference works, and a few scholarly blog entries. The database Curse Tablets of Roman Britain also caught my eye – stay tuned!
This very popular Spanish blog, entitled “El Blog de Antonio Piñero,” contains posts by its namesake, a Professor of Greek Philosophy at la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, as well as weekly contributions by Gonzalo Del Cerro and Fernando Bermejo-Rubio. These are helpfully written for a general audience, with an overall focus on the historical Jesus and the New Testament. However, Piñero and Bermejo were both involved in the Spanish translation of the Nag Hammadi Library, and the blog does reflect this broader reach. Bermejo-Rubio in particular has a number of interesting posts on varied topics in Late Antique religions, such as Apollonius of Tyana and Manichaeism.
The TM Magic Database, administered by Franziska Naether and Mark Depauw, is the newest addition to Trismegistos, a premier information portal for the ancient world, with a focus on Egypt between 800 BC and AD 800. In its own words, it collects “metadata of somewhat “dubious” nature: all things “religion”, “ritual”, “magic” and “divination” / “mantike”.” There are currently 3712 entries. A quick browse through these records suggests that the initial focus is, broadly speaking, “magic” and “divination,” but material such as Isidorus’s hymns to Isis is also present. Researchers can search in one or more categories: publication, editor, and inventory, as well as language/script (primarily Demotic, Greek, and Coptic), provenance, nome, and type (genre); the results can be viewed in any available Trismegistos-collaborating database. As more entries are added, the site will become an increasingly powerful tool for researchers in ancient Egyptian magic.
This database of magical gems, named after Campbell-Bonner’s famous collection of 1954, is in fact far more extensive, containing over 1,000 items. These are drawn from over 30 collections, including the British Museum, and the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, which is curating the website with the University of Fribourg, under the direction of an international editorial board. According to the site, the database, which is currently expanding, contains “a fourth of the known corpus of magical gems.” Its search functions allow the user to browse the gems by collection, material, place of discovery (only a few of which are known), iconographical schemes and elements, vocabulary (gem inscriptions in Greek and Latin), names, voces magicae, Logoi, and Characteres. The entries themselves contain this information, when available, along with digital images of the gems; these can even be sent as electronic postcards! There is a small glossary and bibliography, which has the helpful feature of noting the gems referred to in each entry. Clearly this is a major resource, which will become even more important as the site grows.
The Virtual Magic Bowl Archive is a collaborative environment for the publication of magic bowls in the Moussaieff, Dehays, and Barakat collections. It is housed at the University of Southampton, under the direction of Dr. Dan Levene, with a number of other prominent collaborators in Europe, Israel, and North America. While the archive, which includes photographs and transcriptions, currently has restricted access, The VMBA site contains several useful resources and descriptions of ongoing projects. These include the Aramaic Magical Texts from Late Antiquity (AMTLA), a BIRAX project conducted by Dr. Dan Levene and Prof. Gideon Bohak, part of which is the valuable prosopography of the Babylonian Magic Bowls, compiled by Dr. Ortal-Paz Saar of Tel Aviv University Continue reading
The LMPG en línea is a digitized version of Luis Muñoz Delgado’s Léxico de magia y religion en los papiros mágicos griegos (2001), volume 5 of the Diccionario Griego-Español. One can brose the particular vocabulary of the Greek magical papyri in alphabetical order (“Lemas”), or in the form of a reverse dictionary (“Inverso”), a wonderful tool for reconstructing lacunose texts. Finally, one can browse through the magical papyri themselves, or at least the selections from them that are quoted in the dictionary; and search for key words in Greek or Spanish (“Búsqueda”). There is also a helpful section on the history of scholarship on magic, as well as the project’s lexicographical methodology, followed by a bibliography. Continue reading
The Heidelberger Papyrussammlung has made a number of color photos (in both 72 and 150 DPI) of very important Coptic papyri available on their website, including: the Acta Pauli, ed. Carl Schmidt (Hildesheim, 1905; P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 300-301), important as a witness to both the text and the Lycopolitan dialect; selections of P. Nepheros, ed. Bärbel Kramer and John Shelton (Mainz, 1987; mostly Greek papyri), an important fourth-century monastic archive from the Heracleopolite nome; Continue reading