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More on puzzling words and spellings in Aramaic incantation bowls and related texts

  • Christa Müller-Kessler (a1)

The corpus of Aramaic incantation bowls and their related texts opens a new approach to the lexicographical study of the Aramaic dialects in Babylonia of late antiquity. Some of these texts were copies of “Vorlagen” that the scribes no longer understood. Nevertheless, they are more reliable text sources than one supposes. Errors, garbled spellings, miscomprehensions and misreadings are always feasible, and are typical phenomena of copied texts. In the case of new text variants one can approach the puzzling words and text passages anew. This study deals first and foremost with words that are obvious corrupted spellings or scribal errors caused by text transmissions. There are also cases of the breakdown of standard spellings and orthographic conventions from the dialect of “Vorlage” that hide the lexical assignment of a word. Since one is dealing here with the earliest text material of the late Aramaic period, they can be taken as a significant contribution to the placing of many lexemes in existing dictionaries.

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A. de la Fuÿe 1924. “Une coupe magique en écriture manichéenne”, Comptes rendus des séances de l'année. Académie des Inscriptions & Belles-Lettres, 388–99.

J. Halévy 1877. “Observation sur un vase judéo-babylonien du British Museum?Comptes-Rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 288293.

E.C.D. Hunter 2000. “Two incantation bowls from Babylon”, Iraq 62, 139–47.

D. Levene 2003a. “Heal O' Israel: A pair of duplicate magic bowls from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin”, Journal of Jewish Studies 54, 104–20.

D. Levene 2007. “‘If you appear as a pig’: Another incantation bowl (Moussaieff 164)”, Journal of Semitic Studies 52, 5967, pls. 1–3.

M. Morgenstern 2007a. “The Jewish Babylonian Aramaic magic bowl BM 91767 reconsidered”, Le Muséon 120, 527.

M. Morgenstern 2007b. “On some non-standard spellings in the Aramaic magic bowls and their linguistic significance”, Journal of Semitic Studies 52, 245–77.

M. Moriggi 2005. “Two new incantation bowls from Rome (Italy)”, Aramaic Studies 3, 4358.

C. Müller-Kessler 1996. “The story of Bguzan-Lilit, daughter of Zanay-Lilit”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 116, 185–95.

C. Müller-Kessler 2000. “SSṬM, ŚSṬM, ŚṢṬM, SṢṬM or ŠSṬM: A technical term for shackling demons. Contributions to the Babylonian Aramaic dictionary”, Ancient Near Eastern Studies 37, 224–28.

C. Müller-Kessler 2003. “Aramaic 'k', lyk' and Iraqi Arabic 'aku, māku: The Mesopotamian particles of existence”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 123, 641–6.

C. Müller-Kessler and T. Kwasman . 2000. “A unique Talmudic Aramaic incantation bowl”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 120, 159–65.

S. Shaked 2006. “Dramatis personae in the Jewish magic texts: some differences between incantation bowls and Geniza magic”, Jewish Studies Quarterly 13, 363–87.

J. Wohlstein 1894. “Ueber einige aramäische Inschriften auf Thongefässen des Königlichen Museums zu Berlin”, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 9, 1141.

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Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • ISSN: 0041-977X
  • EISSN: 1474-0699
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies
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