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A "Word Search Puzzle" For Deceiving Non-Initiates: The "Great" Tablet From Thurii (L 12)

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Chapter Summary

The "great" tablet from Thurii has defied the attempts at interpretation of various philologists, who tried to read in it a continuous text. This chapter offers an alternative interpretation of the text, based on the idea that it contains only a few significant elements, surrounded by meaningless letters. The basic difference that exists between a "word search puzzle" and the tablet text is the purpose of the text. The tablet has mystical intentions, on which its user's salvation depends. Only the initiate is able to find the holy words in the sequence of letters and discern what is significant from what is not, and this knowledge is useful to him in the other world, where the tablet accompanies him. In contrast, if the text were to fall into the hands of a non-initiate, it would be completely useless to him, because he could not read it.

Keywords:great tablet; non-initiates; Thurii (L 12); word search puzzle

10.1163/ej.9789004163713.i-379.26
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