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MAGICAL TEXTS FROM A BILINGUAL PAPYRUS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM (1932)

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MAGICAL TEXTS FROM A BILINGUAL PAPYRUS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM (1932)

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MAGICAL TEXTS FROM A BILINGUAL PAPYRUS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM (1932)

150.00

Bell, H.I. with A.D. Nock and Herbert Thompson (edited with translations, commentary and facsimiles by).  Magical Texts From a Bilingual Papyrus in the British Museum  (From the Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume XVII). London, Humphrey Milford. [1932].

In original oversized wrappers. Tall 8vo. 55 pages plus 3 large fold-out plates. Darkening to outer areas of front cover. Half-inch tear and bump to upper left corner at spine, 2 corner creases to lower right of wrappers, and edge wear, light curls and a few tiny tears to outer portion of wrappers. The folding plates are in fine condition. Quite scarce. VERY GOOD.

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This papyrus here published (B.M. Pap. 10588 - Egyptian Department) had long been in the British Museum but had appeared to have escaped entirely the attention of scholars. There was no external evidence as to its provenance. Internal evidence suggested it may belong to the group of papyri collected by a Swedish consul - the same collection that included the Demotic magical papyrus of London and Leiden, the papyrus of the Louvre edited by Maspero, and an additional fragmentary papyrus at Leiden. The present papyrus is bilingual but only in the sense that it contains both Greek and Demotic texts; in no case is the Greek a translation from the Demotic or vice versa. The papyrus roll in fact, which is written on both sides, on the recto mainly in Demotic, on the verso, mainly in Greek, is a small corpus of miscellaneous magical texts, like so many other papyri of the same class. The actual date is unknown but the editors have placed it towards the end of the third century. 

The subject matter of this papyrus is magic. The procedure is usually to invoke a god or higher power of some kind and compel him to assist the invoker in procuring what he wishes, whether it be to heal a disease, acquire fame or wealth or power, or to obtain the affection of a loved object. The invocation is accompanied by a ritual of magical practices. In the Demotic portion of the present collection are included an invocation to Thoth for aid, a method to discover a thief, spells for reputation, and an amatory spell. The Greek texts on the verso are mainly concerned with amatory spells.