Genizah magical texts prepared for or against named individuals

Gideon Bohak, Ortal Paz Saar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This prosopographic study lists and discusses the personal names found in Cairo Genizah manuscripts pertaining to the fields of magic, divination and astrology. The names derive primarily from amulets, but also from divinatory spells, curses, exorcisms and magic manuals or recipes prepared for named owners or against named opponents. The study corpus included all the Genizah texts that have been published thus far, all the unpublished magical texts from the Cambridge Genizah collection, and numerous unpublished texts from other Genizah collections, yielding a total of 156 named individuals. The article attempts to identify some of the listed names with individuals known from non-magical texts. Its conclusions address several questions related to the place of magic in the Jewish society of medieval Cairo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-110
Number of pages34
JournalRevue des Etudes Juives
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


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