The Ancient Greek Magical Papyrus PGM I

Note: The abbreviation „PGM“ refers to Papyri Graecae Magicae = Greek Magical Papyri.


PGM I is an ancient magical papyrus scroll inscribed in Greek with six ritual instructions and a prayer of deliverance. The papyrus is dated to the late 4th or early 5th century and derives from Egypt.

PGM I originally comprised five columns but the scroll was cut into two pieces in modern times. The first piece is kept in Warsaw (inventory number P. 5025 A) and the second in Berlin (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, inventory number P. 5025 B, seen here).

The scroll measures in total ca. 80,2 cm x 33,5 cm of which P. 5025 B measures 47 cm.


PGM I contains two individual practices for obtaining an assistant divining demon, a practice to invoke a deity for teaching about divination and magical experience, a prayer of deliverance, two invisibility spells and a spell for good memory.


Karl Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae – Die griechischen Zauberpapyri, Band II (1931), 1-18.
Free download:

Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (1986), 3-12.

Christopher A Faraone, Sofía Torallas Tovar (eds.), Greek and Egyptian Magical Formularies: Text and Translation, Vol. 1 (2022), 382-411 (GEMF 31).

More details and bibliography: (details in German only, the English webpage doesn’t actually provide a translation into English).


Herkunft/Rechte: Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, CC BY-NC-SA.
Infographic: Dr. Kirsten D. Dzwiza @antikemagie, CC BY-NC-SA
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