At the Crossroads of Ritual Practice and Anti-Magical Discourse in Late Antiquity: Taxonomies of Licit and Illicit Rituals in Leiden, Ms. AMS 9 and Related Sources
- Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 14, Number 2, Summer 2019
- pp. 230-254
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There are cases in which the worlds of ritual practice and fierce anti-magical invective intersect. This paper focuses on one of the clearest examples of such intersection during late antiquity: Leiden, Ms. AMS 9 (a.k.a. P. Anastasy 9) – a late-antique Coptic codex with spells for exorcism, healing, and protection, which simultaneously engages in fierce rhetoric against illicit rituals. By highlighting the ways the practitioner behind this codex navigated the distinction between licit and illicit ritual in light of his late antique Mediterranean contexts, this paper also seeks to make a broader statement about anti-magic invective during late antiquity.