Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals, Volume I by Tzvi Abusch and Daniel Schwemer

By Tzvi Abusch and Daniel Schwemer

One of the most vital resources for figuring out the cultures and platforms of considered historical Mesopotamia is a big physique of magical and clinical texts written within the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. an extremely major department of this literature centres upon witchcraft. Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals and incantations characteristic ill-health and misfortune to the magic machinations of witches and prescribe ceremonies, units, and coverings for dispelling witchcraft, destroying the witch, and retaining and curing the sufferer. The Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals goals to provide a reconstruction of this physique of texts; it presents severe variants of the proper rituals and prescriptions according to the research of the cuneiform pills and fragments recovered from the libraries of historic Mesopotamia.

This is the 1st quantity within the three-part Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals sequence. Volumes and 3 are anticipated in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

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Additional resources for Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals, Volume I

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Maul, BaF 18, 445–52 (namburbi ritual against witchcraft; cf. now also VAT 13607 + 13970 + 14027, to be edited in KAL, vol. 4). • Tablet amulets against witchcraft (all with the same prayer to Ea, Asalluḫi and Šamaš): KAR 35, KAR 36 + 261, LKA 129 (all ed. by Maul, BaF 18, 181–84), KAL 2, 40. R. George). L. Finkel). • LKA 115, ed. Maul, BaF 18, 502–4 (ritual for protecting a house against witchcraft with an incantation addressed to Išum and a prescription for a potion with the same purpose). • 81-2-4, 166, ed.

BAM 325 = KAL 2, 51 (fragmentary ritual for the preparation of a phylactery against witchcraft; Middle Assyrian manuscript). • KAL 2, 30 (fragmentary anti-witchcraft rituals; cf. 6). • KAL 2, 33 (fragmentary anti-witchcraft ritual with prayer addressed to Girra and prescription for a salve). • KAL 2, 32 (fragmentary anti-witchcraft rituals addressed to Šamaš). • K 2395 (fragmentary burning ritual before Šamaš). • K 2467 + 80-7-19, 116 (fragmentary collection of incantations against witchcraft).

Potions and wash water were often left outside overnight “under the stars”; this served the double purpose of maceration and exposure to the influence of the astral deities. The potions prescribed often served as emetics; it was probably assumed that the witchcraft residing in the patient’s body was discharged with the vomit. 6: 1′; cf. : 101′′′′′′–102′′′′′′). For therapeutic and prophylactic necklaces, typically either stone beads or plants were strung on a wool thread and then placed around the patient’s neck as amulets.

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