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The Interplay of Images and Writing in Mafteaḥ Shelomoh: Two Experiments for Escaping from Prison

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image of European Journal of Jewish Studies

Mafteaḥ Shelomoh, the Hebrew adaptation of the Clavicula Salomonis, contains a remarkably large number of visual elements, including images and other text-structuring means. This article compares the use of images and image captions of one segulla (an instruction for a magical procedure) in two different manuscripts of the Sefer Mafteaḥ Shelomoh: the MS Oriental 14759 (The British Library, London), and the MS Gollancz. It tries to show how the scribes of the manuscripts were involved in a kind of meta-textual criticism when arranging the textual material anew, adding captions to images and obtaining missing material from alternative sources.

* This is the revised and slightly extended version of a talk held at the Tenth Congress of the EAJS in Paris in July 2014. I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions, which proved very helpful for producing a more readable and understandable version of the paper.

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