The Ancient Greek Magical Papyrus PGM II + PGM VI

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


PGM II and PGM VI are two parts of the same papyrus scroll. This ancient ritual manual was inscribed in Greek with two ritual instructions for divination. The papyrus was previously dated to the late 4th or early 5th century. In 2016 Eleni Chronopoulou presented her discovery that PGM II and PGM VI are two parts of the same scroll. Her research led to a new dating of the papyri to the 2nd-3rd century.

The papryus derives from Egypt.

PGM II (P. 5026) is kept at the Aegyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin while PGM VI (Papyrus London 47) is kept at the British Library, London.

PGM II measures ~35 x 94 cm and is well preserved, PGM VI measures ~34 x 22 cm and consists of four fragments.


This ritual manual contains two rituals for revelation. The scroll was not entirely inscribed, about 1 plus 1/3 columns were left blank. The final column contains a drawing of a figure which modern scholarship refers to as the „Headless One“. The instruction simply calls it „figure“ (zôdion).

=> Interested in the „Headless Deity“ and the famous ritual in PGM V? Then listen to my 3+ hours introduction, translation and discussion of the „Headless One“ on the Esoterica channel on ouTube, hosted by Dr. Justin Sledge:


Karl Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae – Die griechischen Zauberpapyri, Band II (1931), 18-30.
Free download:

Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (1986), 12-18.

Christopher A Faraone, Sofía Torallas Tovar (eds.), Greek and Egyptian Magical Formularies: Text and Translation, Vol. 1 (2022), 362-381 (GEMF 30).


More details but only in German (the English website doesn’t provide an English translation:


The image shows PGM II only, for PGM VI see the above link to the papyrus.


Herkunft/Rechte: Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin [CC BY-NC-SA]

Infographic: Kirsten D. Dzwiza @antikemagie, CC BY-NC-SA


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