The Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden was the key text that led to the decipherment of the Demotic Ancient Egyptian dialect. The text reveals spells to cure diseases, obtain visions, raise the dead, a number of spells for erotic purposes, to kill or blind enemies, invoke Thot and Anubis etc. The text contains invocations to a wide range of deities and other entities, with names drawn from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon and the Gnostic Aeons.
The Leyden Papyrus dates from around the beginning of the Christian era. It was probably the textbook of a practicing sorcerer in Egypt. The Papyrus was discovered at Thebes in the middle of the 19th century, assembled from fragments at Leiden and London, and it remains one of the most important documents for revealing the potions, spells, incantations, and other forms of magic worked in Egypt. In addition to purely native elements involving the gods, the manuscript shows the influence of Gnostic beliefs, Greek magic, and other magical traditions.
A transliteration of the demotic script is printed on facing pages with a complete translation, which is copiously supplied with explanatory handwritten footnotes. The editors supply an informative introduction and a classification of the types of magic involved. As a result, this publication is of great importance to Egyptologists, students of magic, and the reader who wishes to judge the efficacy of Egyptian magic for himself.
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