Schriftverwendung in antiker Ritualpraxis (Analyse und Katalog) – The use of writing in ancient ritual practice (Analysis and Catalogue)

Graph of ancient ritual manuals

The two monographs focus on the first-time analysis of the use of writingt („Schriftverwendung“) in ancient ritual practice. I researched especially the materiality, function and manipulation of the individual inscription elements („Beschriftungselemente“) as well as their contextualization.

The analysis is based on the ancient Greek, Demotic and Coptic „magical papyri“, collections of various ritual instructions, the so-called „instruction manuals“ or in German „Sammelschriften“. The chronological frame of the study comprises the 1st to the 7th century CE.

I was able to observe almost all instructions either in original or by photograph and it turned out that it was necessary to re-translate the majority of the texts due to previous mistakes in either transcription or translation.

This was the study I conducted for my PhD. Book 1 includes the introduction, data basis, analysis and interpretation. Book 2 includes the three parts of the catalogue. Part 1: instructions which preserve the text to be inscribed completely. Part 2: instructions in which it either does not become clear what exactly has to be written down, or in which the writer writes down individual wishes. Part 3: instructions which are only preserved partially and a reconstruction of the text to be written is not possible.

Book 1 includes also the first classification system of ancient magic signs providing a fundament for further scientific research.

Both books are available as PDF-A documents under the creative commons license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DE and can be downloaded at the Digitale Bibliothek Thüringen (Digital Library Thuringia):
Kirsten Dzwiza, Schriftverwendung in antiker Ritualpraxis (Teil 1: Textteil, Teil 2: Katalog), Erfurt, Heidelberg 2013

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Februar 16, 2014 @ 17:31