The book will be published in December 2020.
About the Book
The ancient ritual handbooks provide a deep insight into the making, preparation and use of ancient magical artefacts. 300 of these artefacts are described in the Greek, Demotic and Coptic manuals.
This book offers the first concise introduction to the making and use of ancient magical artefacts for a broader audience. It includes an overview of the individual types of artefacts, much more diverse than the archaeological record, since many artefacts were made of organic materials that did not survive the times, or had to be burned or broken during the ritual. Not only papyrus artefacts, gold and silver tablets, gems and curse tablets can be found here, but statuettes of wood and even wax, leaves, branches, skulls, bodies, floors, door posts and many other objects were inscribed used as magical artefacts in ritual practice. The range of objectives is also much wider in the manuals, extending our knowledge from the archaeological evidence by far.
In addition, the book includes a chapter of the materials with which the inscriptions were made. Multiple instructions describe the manufacturing of the ink in detail as well as how to inscribe an artefact correctly. The instructions also include information concerning the tools that have to be used for writing the inscriptions.
The book also offers detailed discussions of the manufacturing and use of individual artefacts and their ritual embedding, providing step by step readings of selected rituals. Each chapter is accompanied by a comprehensive compilation of online as well as offline resources for further reading.
The time span of the manuals discussed 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