Day 3 – January 4, 2017


Even though the Faksimiles of PGM VII by Kenyon are of a fantastic quality, classifiying the signs turned out to be even more challenging than trying to figure out which parts of an instruction were meant to be written down, and which parts had to be spoken. Wessely is remarkably imprecise when it comes to his drawings of the signs. […]

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Day 2 – January 3, 2017

Today I handled several tricky sources. The first problem was: At which point is it reasonable to classify two similar signs differently? The second: If Greek letters are distributed among charaktêres, do you classify these as charaktêres or as letters? The third: If the inscription is clearly labeled as „charaktêres“ but includes a sequence of Greek letters which could be […]

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The Charakteres Project is funded by the German Research Foundation for a three year period!

I am happy to announce that the German Research Foundation will fund my research into ancient “magical” signs for a three year period, beginning in January 2017. The project “Handbuch und Untersuchung antiker Zauberzeichen von ihren Ursprüngen bis in das 7. Jahrhundert” will be situated at the University of Erfurt. The fundamental questions I will tackle basically focus on the […]

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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 […]

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Vorkommen und Verwendung schrifttragender Artefakte in Praxisanleitungen zur Interaktion mit höheren Mächten


Ständige Ägyptologen Konferenz 2013, Universität Heidelberg Abstract Aus den griechischen, demotischen und koptischen Sammelschriften des 1. – 7. Jahrhunderts sind rund 300 Anleitungen zur Herstellung und Handhabung schrifttragender Artefakte erhalten. Mit wenigen Ausnahmen dienen sie der Interaktion des Praktizierenden mit höheren Mächten. In dem Vortrag werden das Vorkommen, die Verwendung sowie die Funktion dieser Artefakte erstmalig zusammenfassend dargestellt. Darauf aufbauend […]

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Der Asteriskos als kritisches Zeichen in magischen Texten


Source: Fr. Kenyon, Greek Papyri in the British Museum, Catalogue with texts 1, 1893, Facsim. T. 57. This paper about the Asteriskos as critical sign in magical texts has been published in Acta Classica Univ. Debrecen XLVIII (2012), it can be downloaded for free here. As always: Looking forward to exchange ideas and arguments. Enjoy reading. Abstract: The asteriskos as […]

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