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Scribal Practices In The Production Of Magic Handbooks In Egypt

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Chapter Summary

This article is a diachronic examination of the means by which information is organized in recipes contained in the hieratic and Demotic magic formularies from Egypt. These scribal conventions concern visual reading aids, controlled vocabulary and fixed text formats. The author argues first that these genre rules were clear-cut and remained unchanged for the entire period that hieratic formularies were produced, and second, that some recipes in the Demotic magic handbooks continue these rules, whereas others deviate from them. This second observation has a bearing on the ongoing debate about the cultural, intellectual and institutional roots of Greco-Egyptian magic in general and the Demotic magical papyri in particular. The first two observations lead to the conclusion that the compilers, editors and copyists of the Demotic magic manuals were intimately familiar with the age-old conventions of manuscript production of Egyptian temple scriptoria.

Keywords: Egypt; Egyptian magic; Greco magic; magical papyri; scribal conventions; scriptoria



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