Amulets and magic bowls : Aramaic incantations of late antiquity


    • Naveh, Joseph
    • Shaked, Shaul


Amulets and magic bowls : Aramaic incantations of late antiquity

by Joseph Naveh, Shaul Shaked

Magnes Press, c1985

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Includes texts in Aramaic with English translation and commentary

Bibliography: p. 243-264

Includes indexes



It was a widespread practice in the area of Palestine, Syria and Asia Minor during the fourth to the seventh centuries of the current era to use talismans written on metal sheets in order to ward off the powers of evil, to heal people, or to gain the love of a person. The common Babylonian practice of the same period was to write incantation texts on earthenware bowls. This book contains the texts of all the legible amulets in Aramaic known today, as well as 13 hitherto unpublished bowls. The texts are proved with translations and commentaries, and a detailed glossary of all the words is given. The study of these incantations provides a glimpse into the religious feelings and practices of common people in the Talmudic period and enriches our knowledge of Palestinian and Babylonian Aramaic usage. This book contains a wealth of new material for the history of magic in the Near East, edited and interpreted with meticulous scholarship.

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