Download e-book for iPad: Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume by Shaul Shaked

By Shaul Shaked

ISBN-10: 900420394X

ISBN-13: 9789004203945

ISBN-10: 900422937X

ISBN-13: 9789004229372

This quantity offers variants of sixty-four Jewish Aramaic incantation bowls from the Schøyen assortment, with accompanying introductions, translations, philological notes, photos and indices, when it comes to the mystical divorce and the wonder-working sages anina ben Dosa and Joshua bar Peraia.

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Extra resources for Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume One

Sample text

JBA 1:2. 49 MS 2053/173:3–4. g. JBA 16:1; see DJBA, 891. g. MS 2053/39:5. g. JBA 13:2. g. MS 2053/229:3, 4, 15, 16. 54 We use here the terminology proposed in Shaked 2011. introduction 9 are the blocks of text that come up as central components of the magical expression, and that are found as a rule in other incantations as well. The incantation also incorporates a number of additional phrases that serve various purposes: opening phrases, linking segments, concluding formulae, quotations from the scriptures, and more.

This is the best guess we can come up with as to why the writing of Aramaic spells on earthenware bowls ceased more or less abruptly at the turn of the seventh and eighth centuries. The matter certainly merits further investigation. 13 If this approach has any merit, it may be noted that it associates the appearance and decline of the practice of bowl magic with two crucial points in the religious history of the Near East: the consolidation of Christianity as a major religious movement, accompanied by the slow disintegration and eventual disappearance of the cultural world of the ancient Near East;14 and, at the other end of the period, is the dramatic spread of a new religious order, that of Islam, whose particular form of powerful monotheism may have had something to do with the fall of a distinctive magical practice.

An example of three bowls carrying a common spell, but each accompanied by different spells, is found in Shaked 2011, 192–198, where all three incantations start with the spell “I descended to the depths of the earth”. In one of the bowls (Bowl I) this is the only spell; in Bowl II this spell is followed by the spell “The great primordial father”, and in Bowl III there are two accompanying spells: “Shakobit the Sleeper” and “Your countenance is that of a vile creature”. When the whole repertory of incantations in the JBA bowls of the Schøyen Collection are properly edited, it will be possible to compose a list of spells, giving them names usually borrowed from the first distinctive phrase in the spell.

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Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume One by Shaul Shaked


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