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Dr. Korshi Dosoo: What are the Magical Papyri? ESSWE Online Lecture Series 2021

  • 2021-03-25
  • 18:00
  • Zoom

What are the Magical Papyri?

The Greek and Demotic magical papyri are probably the richest surviving source of information about the ritual practices of the Roman Empire, hundreds of texts attesting to the attempts of the inhabitants of Egypt to call upon the divine powers to intervene in their daily lives by cursing their enemies, attracting lovers, healing diseases, or revealing the future. Since their first publications in the 1820s, they have been the subject of many conflicting interpretations – are they the product of late antique gnostic groups, evidence of archaic survivals in classical Greek religion – or of Greek religion’s decline –or of ancient Egyptian temple rituals reinvented by entrepreneurial priests? In this talk I will discuss some of the history of their reception, exploring how scholars came to such diverse conclusions, and consider some ways in which these different readings help us to understand these complex documents.

Zoom Webinar start at 18:00 CEST

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