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Miniaturization and the Opening of The Mouth in a Greek Magical Text (Pgm Xii.270-350)

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

PGM XII.270-350, a text prescribing rituals for the creation and use of a magical ring, provides a particularly useful example through which to explore the phenomenon of miniaturized ritual in the magical papyri of late Graeco-Roman Egypt (as elucidated by Smith 1995). The ritual for creating and consecrating the ring's gemstone makes it clear that the stone is considered a miniature cult statue. The subsequent "Ouphor" invocation to be performed whenever the ring is used corresponds in name and function to the Egyptian wp. t-r or Opening the Mouth ritual as used in daily temple liturgy. The nature of these ritual miniatures reveals the sophisticated discursive and conceptual level at which the traditional forms of temple ritual were adapted and redeployed for use in other contexts by members of the Egyptian priestly class in late antiquity.


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