The Coptic Magical Papyri: Vernacular Religion in Late Roman and Early Islamic Egypt is a five-year research project (2018-2023) based at the Chair of Egyptology of the Julius Maximilian University Würzburg. The team consists of Korshi Dosoo (research group leader), Edward O. D. Love, and Markéta Preininger. We bring you what we know about Coptic magic in the form of academic publications, blogs and podcast episodes!
This episode was created to celebrate the new edition of the "Praise of the Archangel Michael" (P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 686), produced by the Coptic Magical Project, a praise written on a parchment codex in Coptic and dated to the 10th century CE. The text is unique, as it is one of the longest magical texts, and it provides many details on the cosmology of Egyptian Christians of that era who were using and producing the magical text. In the first part of the podcast, the text is presented and this is followed by an interview with Korshi Dosoo who clarifies various aspects of the praise (5:02). Next, you'll hear the praise recoded by Edward Love (36:27). Lastly, technical details regarding the podcast are given (54:05). Thank you for listening and enjoy! For any feedback, feel free to contact us through Facebook or through our website.
Ágnes Mihálykó is a specialist on Christian liturgical papyri. She has recently published a book on the topic, The Christian Liturgical Papyri: An Introduction, with Mohr Siebeck, in which she offered an extensive introduction into the topic, and she discussed the earliest liturgical manuscripts preserved. In the podcast, we discuss the relationship between liturgical papyri and magical texts.
Ágnes spent her undergraduate years studying mostly in Hungary, and obtained her PhD in classics at the University of Oslo in 2017. Currently, Ágnes is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University in Oslo, and she is working on a project in collaboration with the project „Euchologia. Daily Life and Religion: Byzantine Prayer Books as Sources for Social History” lead by Claudia Rapp, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Ágnes’ project centers around collecting and editing Christian liturgical prayers in ancient Greek and Coptic, which have been preserved on papyrus from the third to the ninth centuries, and which testify to a variety of practices and record the early history of the Coptic Church’s liturgy. Most of them relate to the Eucharist or are intercessions for various occasions, but there are also prayers for the liturgy of the hours, for the ordination of a monk, and blessings as well. The project will bring together these prayers in one corpus as well as in digital publication with a reliable transcription, an English translation and commentary, with reflections on the text’s liturgical function and relation to the intellectual and theological currents of its time.
In this episode of The Coptic Magical Papyri Podcast, Edward O.D. Love offers a deeper look into how Coptic relates to Demotic, into the development of Old Coptic, Coptic. Please, listen to the previous episode with Edward, to get a full idea of development of Egyptian language. Edward Love also introduces us to his habilitation, which focuses on the letters to gods.
Edward Love is post-doctoral assistant on the project The Coptic Magical Papyri at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg. Edward’s principal research interests include the conceptualisation, mechanics, and contexts of interaction with the divine in Egypt. A parallel research interest, stemming from the work of his doctoral thesis, is the obsolescence of the scripts of the Egyptian writing system during the Roman Period. Edward also gives an introduction into the various dialects of Coptic.
Edward O.D. Love talks about the development of Egyptian language and script, as the relation between Demotic and Coptic was the focus of his PhD research. Edward thoroughly explains the evolution from hieroglyphics, Hieratic, Demotic, to the Coptic writing, as well as the grammatical progress of the language. A particular focus is put also on the domains of writing and their explanation. Besides these topics, Edward discussed his academic background and his years in Oxford, where he obtained his BA, MSt and PhD.
For the next three podcast episodes, we have decided to bring the project closer to you by interviewing the three core members of the project. In this podcast episode, Korshi Dosoo, the leader of the project, talks not only about the origin of the Coptic Magical Papyri project, but about Coptic magic within the larger framework of the cultural context, as well as about the roots of his own interest in magic in general.
In our third podcast - exceptionally recorded in German - we sat down with Prof. Sebastian Richter from the Free University of Berlin, to discuss the possible relationship between Coptic magical and alchemical texts. What does alchemy mean in the context of Byzantine and Islamic Egypt? What alchemical processes do the manuscripts professor Richter edited uncover and who wrote them? Listen and enjoy!
In unserem dritten Podcast - ausnahmsweise in deutscher Sprache aufgenommen - haben wir uns mit Prof. Sebastian Richter von der Freien Universität Berlin zusammengesetzt, um die mögliche Beziehung zwischen koptischen magischen und alchemistischen Texten zu diskutieren. Was bedeutet Alchemie im Zusammenhang mit dem byzantinischen und islamischen Ägypten? Welche alchemistischen Prozesse decken die von Professor Richter herausgegebenen Manuskripte auf und wer hat sie geschrieben? Hören Sie zu und genießen Sie!
In the first podcast episode, created by the Coptic Magical Papyri project based at the University of Würzburg, Germany, we discuss ancient magic with the Leiden professor Jacques van der Vliet. Who was the ancient magician and what were his practices?