Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition by Gideon Bohak, Yuval Harari Shaul Shaked

By Gideon Bohak, Yuval Harari Shaul Shaked

This quantity brings jointly 13 stories via as many specialists within the research of 1 or extra historical or medieval magical traditions, from historical Mesopotamia and Pharaonic and Greco-Roman Egypt to the Greek international, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It lays certain emphasis at the recurrence of comparable phenomena in magical texts as a long way aside because the Akkadian cuneiform pills and an Arabic manuscript acquired in Egypt within the late-twentieth century. Such similarities show to what volume many alternative cultures proportion a paranormal good judgment that's strikingly exact, and specifically they convey the recurrence of sure phenomena whilst magical practices are transmitted in written shape and sometimes defend, undertake and adapt a lot older textual devices.

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Extra resources for Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition

Sample text

Lines 67–69 read: 67. ša ṣabtannima23 mūša u urra irteneddânni 68. uḫattû šīrīya kal ūmi ṣabtannima 69. kal mūši lā umaššaranni That seizes me and constantly pursues me night and day, Afflicts my flesh, seizes me all day, And does not let go of me all night. ” It seems likely that this phrase is an insertion in the middle of an otherwise closely knit parallel structure. As stated earlier, the phrase “who afflicts my flesh” suits demons and illnesses better than witches. 24 If so, both summary statements might have been inserted into the text at the same time.

Lines 52–62); bewitching the victim by means of food, drink, washing, salving, and messages (lines 63–67); causing the rejection (ina maḫar . . šuškunu) of the victim by various people and groups (lines 68–73). This catalogue of witchcraft acts presents a relatively comprehensive account of what the witch can do. 38 But whether composite or not, the list in its present form was not originally part of the incantation, for the length and scope of the list are disproportionate to its present setting in an incantation that centers upon the invocation of the fire and the description of the ritual burning of the witches.

And blazing Girra, An’s son, the warrior. Incantation Formula. The incantation begins with a call to the fire to destroy the witches (line 1). In lines 3–4, the speaker addresses his enemies in the second person and imputes to them the repeated performance of witchcraft against him. He then asks that the two gods of magic, Ea and Asalluḫi, help him—that is, that Ea release and Asalluḫi turn back whatever witchcraft the witches had performed against him (lines 5–6). The speaker then states that he is binding the witches and giving them over to the fire god Girra, “the burner, the scorcher, the binder, the vanquisher of witches,” and expresses the wish that the fire god stand at his side and aid him (7–9).

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