Launching GEMF vol.I

Choosing Tuesday 13th to launch this book is no coincidence: we are talking about the first volume of Greek and Egyptian Magical Formularies (GEMF). This volume, the first in a series of two, is the result of many years of work by a large international team of experts (papyrologists, Greek philologists, Demotic experts, historians of religions, etc.) coordinated by Sofia Torallas and Christopher A. Faraone (University of Chicago). This research work, developed under the auspices of the Project Transmission of Magical Knowledge in Antiquity: The Papyrus Magical Handbooks in Context, aims to offer the public a new vision of the great Greco-Egyptian magical handbooks. This volume is, therefore, the first tangible output of this project.

This new edition, in which we have tried to be as faithful as possible to the text and appearance of these papyri in their manuscript version, includes the Demotic and Coptic texts, and is accompanied by a critical apparatus and a new annotated translation. Through these notes we have sought to provide users with the information and tools necessary to understand some aspects of the complex world of these texts. Each papyrus also has its own introduction, in which aspects of the form, content, history and preservation of each piece are discussed. Our aim with this work, which will soon be followed by a second volume of texts, is to make available to the general and specialist public a reference edition for the study of these testimonies of the ancient (magical) ritual practice.

Tuesday’s presentation took place in the cosy setting of the Fundación Pastor de Estudios Clásicos (Madrid) and was held by Sofía Torallas Tovar (PI of the project, chief editor and professor at the University of Chicago), Alberto Nodar Domínguez (Pompeu Fabra University; papyrologist and expert in palaeographical issues); Raquel Martín Hernández (University Complutense of Madrid, responsible for editing the images and paratextual elements of the papyri) and myself, as editor of one of the pieces. We would like to thank all the friends, family and colleagues who came to the event for the friendly atmosphere in the auditorium.