Egyptian and Jewish Magic in antiquity: Contexts, Contacts, Continuities and comparisons (6th-9th July, 2015)


Egyptian and Jewish Magic in antiquity: Contexts, Contacts, Continuities and comparisons (Bohn, 6th-9th July, 2015)



Prof. Gideon Bohak, Dr. Rita Lucarelli and Alessia Bellusci are pleased to invite you to participate in the conference “Egyptian and Jewish Magic in Antiquity: Contexts, Contacts, Continuities and Comparisons,” which rises from an international collaboration between the University of Bonn and Tel Aviv University.

The conference, which will be held at the University of Bonn from the 6th to the 9th of July 2015, will be a major forum for academic researchers to exchange their innovative work in ancient Egyptian and Jewish magic. The focus of this meeting will be on the historical continuity and change of ancient Egyptian and ancient Jewish magical practices from antiquity to the early middle ages. Particularly, our aim is to study the similarities, the differences, and the points of contact between these two magical traditions, with a strong emphasis on the impact of Pharaonic magic on early medieval (Coptic, Jewish and Islamic) magical practices.

Particularly, by bringing together highly renowned scholars from different fields of ancient history and archeology, we will seek to: (1.) isolate a magico-technical vocabulary, which characterizes ancient texts of magic and, possibly, achieve a common and intercultural terminology on ancient magic; (2.) follow some linguistic and ritualistic developments in magical texts, both within a certain culture as well as cross-culturally; (3.) understand some of the magical names and nomina barbara we find in later texts, most of which still remain incomprehensible to us; (4.) reconstruct the ritual dynamics of different magical practices on the basis of textual and material comparison within the same culture or between different cultures – and especially those which dwelt in Egypt – both from a synchronic and diachronic perspective.

The conference will include a series of lectures on Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic/ Christian, Jewish and Islamic magic, as well as panel discussions and laboratory activities focusing both on philological and archeological analysis. The period covered by the conference spans from ancient to medieval Egypt and the textual or archaeological sources presented in the lectures/ workshops should belong to the Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic, Jewish or Islamic communities who lived in Egypt at the time.

Conference Web Site: