A Concise Introduction to Ancient Ritual Manuals

Concise Introduction Ancient Ritual Manuals

The book will be published in December 2020.

About the Book

This is first concise introduction to the three largest preserved collections of ancient ritual manuals: The Greek, the Demotic and the Coptic handbooks. While the Greek manuals have been compiled and published in the so-called „Greek Magical Papyri“, similar compilations for the Demotic and Coptic sources do not exist. If you are missing Latin ritual manuals: science does, too. No Latin manuals have been discovered, yet.

The ancient manuals introduced here include almost 1000 ritual instructions. Some of them consist of only a single sentence while others comprise hundreds of lines. These rituals are concerned with healing, protection, love, wealth and success, victory, and often with divination. They tell about the manufacturing of artefacts, the communication with higher powers, and how to cope with everyday problems.

The book provides individual overview of the three fundamental sources of ancient ritual manuals: the Greek Magical Papyri, the Demotic Magical Papyri and the Coptic Magical Papyri. The overviews are illustrated by examples of ancient ritual practice, including step by step readings of selected instructions. Each chapter is accompanied by a comprehensive compilation of online as well as offline resources for further reading.

The time span of the manuals introduced here comprises the first seven centuries, the geographical scope is mainly determined by the borders of the Roman Empire and included are the Greek, Demotic and Coptic sources.


Keywords: Magical signs, Magical artefacts, Ancient Magic, Late Antiquity


Table of Contents



Coming coon


Table of Contents

Coming soon