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Divine epithets in the Greek Magical Papyri: a study of the lexicon

Abstract

There is to date no comprehensive work on the epicleses figuring in the Greek Magical Papyri. Although divine epithets are ubiquitous in the magical texts of the papyri, where they serve mainly to identify and attract the relevant deity supposed to act according to the magician's design, they have enjoyed so far relatively scarce attention from scholars working on Greek religion and magic, there being no overview of their uses, either in quantitative or qualitative terms. This project aims at filling this gap and is meant to be a serviceable tool for further studies in the field by gathering, in a single collection, all the epithets related to deities and similar magical powers, collecting for each epiclesis the most relevant information about it in the secondary literature and adding further synchronic or diachronic parallels from literary texts and epigraphic or lexicographic documents. Participial clauses, preceded or not by the article and describing divine acts or the god's nature, shall be included as well, being as they are equivalent to epicleses: they are extremely common in the Greek Magical Papyri. It is to be hoped that the results of the research will be published as a printed and on-line annotated lexicon (open source) of the relevant divine epithets. Besides the exhaustive list of epicleses cross-referenced to similar entries within the corpus and alluding to synchronic or diachronic parallels in the Greek or Egyptian/Semitic traditions, the book will also feature a number of indexes that are meant to provide access to the material of the lexical in various ways. A linguistic study of the nominal compounds attested only in the Greek Magical Papyri and the Supplementum Magicum will appear in an appendix. (AU)

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