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Coptic Magical Papyri Podcast

Coptic Magical Papyri Podcast

By Coptic Magical Papyri Podcast
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), Markéta Preininger, and Julia Schwarzer (formerly also Edward O.D. Love). We bring you what we know about Coptic magic in the form of academic publications, blogs and podcast episodes!
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Currently playing episode

Egyptian Language Development with Edward Love

Coptic Magical Papyri Podcast

Talking Ancient Magic with David Frankfurter
In this episode, the well-known scholar of ancient Mediterranean religion David Frankfurter not only introduces the into the basic questions concerning magic in the ancient world, but also shares his memories of magic studies during their revival in the 1990's. David Frankfurter specializes in Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, magical texts, popular religion, and Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods. Frankfurter’s particular interests revolve around theoretical issues like the place of magic in religion, the relationship of religion and violence, the nature of Christianization, and the representation of evil in culture
September 27, 2022
Intersection between Christian and Jewish Magic with Joseph Sanzo
In this podcast episode, our guest Joseph E. Sanzo discusses the intersection between Christian and Jewish magic. Joseph Sanzo is Associate Professor of the History of Religions at Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Joseph Sanzo obtained his PhD degree at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012 and his thesis was published in 2014 in a volume called Scriptural Incipits on Amulets from Late Antique Egypt: Text, Typology, and Theory. Since then, he has held various positions; after his PhD, he was a lecturer at UCLA and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Jerusalem, between 2015 and 2018 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Munich and between 2018 and 2020 he was the WIRL Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Warwick. His research focuses on ancient Mediterranean religion, with a particular focus on ritual practices during late antiquity, and he is the author of numerous publications on the topic. His current European Research Council Starting Grant project running from 2020 investigates late-antique Jewish and Christian magical objects, such as amulets and incantation bowls, as sites for thinking about early Jewish-Christian relations. For more information on Joseph's current project, see
June 01, 2022
Greek and Egyptian Deities in Coptic Magical Texts with Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin
Sarrazin has obtained a PhD title in Religious Studies and in Languages, Literatures and Translation Studies from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium) in 2020. In general, her research focuses on the appropriation of ancient magical practices by Christians in Greek and Coptic magical texts from Late Antique Egypt and on the processes of religious transformation in Late Antiquity. Currently, Roxanne is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Theology for the ERC-funded project Storyworlds in Transition: Coptic Apocrypha in Changing Contexts in the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods, led by Hugo Lundhaug at the University of Oslo, where she works on the relationship between Coptic apocrypha and Coptic magical texts. Within the Coptic magic community, Roxanne is of course known for compiling a list of magical texts which served as a starting point for the creation of the Kyprianos database, and she is also a contributor for the Coptic Magical Papyri project.
January 20, 2022
Coptic Pharmacological Texts with Anne Grons
In this episode of the podcast, we are discussing Coptic pharmacological texts with Anne Grons, who is currently finishing her thesis on the topic. Pharmacological texts offer a window into ancient medical practices. The pharmacological prescriptions are aimed at healing various issues, often by applying remedies made of plants, animals, minerals or other substances, to the body. Coptic pharmacological texts are crucial for understanding Coptic magical prescriptions - often, the boundaries between the two genres are blurred, as they tend to use the same formulations or ingredients. Anne Grons has studied Egyptology and was the assistant/lexicographer at the project Dictionary and Database of Greek Loanwords in Coptic (DDGLC) (Freie Universität Berlin). Currently, she is a researcher at the Institute of the History of Pharmacy and Medicine (in formation) at Philipps-Universität Marburg led by Prof. Dr. Tanja Pommerening. 
August 18, 2021
Case Study: Praise of the Archangel Michael
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.
June 29, 2021
Ancient Christian Liturgy and Magic with Ágnes Mihalykó
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.
January 29, 2021
A Focus on Coptic with Edward Love
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.
November 06, 2020
Egyptian Language Development with Edward Love
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.
August 27, 2020
Coptic Magical Papyri Project with Korshi Dosoo
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.
July 17, 2020
Koptische Magie und Alchemie mit Sebastian Richter
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!
May 14, 2020
Gnosticism and Coptic Magic with Dylan Burns
Dylan Burns introduces us to basic conceptions of Gnosticism, as well as its core texts. The focus of our second podcast is on the relationship of magical and Gnostic texts in Roman Egypt. Enjoy!
March 27, 2020
Introduction to Coptic Magic with Jacques van der Vliet
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?
February 20, 2020