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The Magical Rotuli From The Cairo Genizah

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on a previously unnoted type of Genizah magical fragments - namely those written on vertical parchment scrolls (rotuli). Such scrolls are extremely interesting not only because of their format, but because of their contents as well, and especially the aggressive magical recipes they contain, some of which clearly stem from late-antique Palestine. The chapter presents a description of their codicological and scribal features, a brief analysis of their contents, and a selective edition of some of their magical recipes. While rotuli and rotuli fragments are relatively rare in the Cairo Genizah, and magical rotuli extremely rare, those magical rotuli which happened to survive turn out to be of great historical importance. This is especially true of Bodleian Heb. a3.31, which is one of the oldest available Genizah magical texts.

Keywords: Bodleian rotulus; Cairo Genizah; magical rotuli



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