July 2020

We are very pleased to announce that the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago has granted us a second project to continue working on the edition of the Greco Roman Magical Formularies.

November 2019

We are very happy that Huaxi Zhou, senior in the College, majoring in Classics, minoring in linguistics and NELC has joined us with a Fellowship from the College Research Fellows Program at the University of Chicago, for the Academic Year 2019/20. We are looking forward to collaborate with her.

In the photograph, she appears with Raquel Martín, after a training session in which Raquel introduced Huaxi into the world of tracing and imaging magical drawings.

Huaxi will produce an edition for volume 2, and will collaborate in different editorial tasks.

June 2019

Curses in Context 3 and Editorial meeting! Athens, Norwegian Institute

We are looking forward to the two events that we are organizing in Athens, at the Norwegian Institute at Athens:

  • Curses in Context conference 3:Greek Curse tablets of the Classical and Hellenistic Periods
  • Our annual editorial meeting for the Transmission of Magical Knowledge Project. We are about to announce that the first volume is already a full draft. The second volume will be discussed in our meeting (June 10-14th).

We take the opportunity to thank Anastasia Maravela for all the hard work to make this happen, the Neubauer Institute, the Wigelands fund of the University of Chicago and the Norwegian Institute in Athens for their support.

April 2019

Exhibition Announcement: Tracés temporels et manuscrits magiques

Our colleagues Raquel Martin (Madrid) and Korshi Dosoo (Würzburg) participate in this exciting exhibit that will combine images and music:  24 tracings of drawings from Coptic, Demotic and Greek magical papyri, will be accompanied by music created for the event by Dr. Luis Calero, an expert on ancient Greek music and performance, as well as a soloist singer, who has recorded reconstructions of the Hymn to Typhon from the Greek magical papyrus PGM IV, and the Oxyrhynchus Hymn, the oldest piece of Christian music whose notation survives.

The exhibition will open on 11 May 2019 and last until 29 June 2019. Korshi and Raquel will be giving a lecture on the study of ancient magical images, as well as a workshop of experimental archaeology, producing papyrus amulets, on the 12 May 2019.

For more information: click here

April 2018

New book by Christopher Faraone

Last Tuesday, April 10 we celebrated  the publication of Chris Faraone’s new monograph, The Transformation of Greek Amulets in Roman Imperial Times, with a discussion by an interdisciplinary panel of UChicago faculty and students. The discussants were Joshua R. Vera (Ph.D. student in History), Kelly Holob (Ph.D. student in Divinity, and Bruce Lincoln (Professor Emeritus from Divinity).

Congratulations, Chris, on this great achievement!

New positions

We are very pleased to announce the new positions of some of our collaborators.

In September 2018 Korshi Dosoo will take up a post-doctoral position at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg, co-ordinating a 5-year project on Coptic magical texts. This project will involve the creation of a database of published and unpublished texts, the edition and re-edition of original manuscripts, and the production of research situating them within their historical, social and intellectual context. The project is currently recruiting two team members – a doctoral and post-doctoral researcher-; further details may be found here:

Myriam Blanco has been appointed Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the project  HORIZON 2020-ERC “AlchemEast –G.A./24914” Alchemy in the Making: From ancient Babylonia via Graeco-Roman Egypt into the Byzantine, Syriac and Arabic traditions (1500 BCE – 1000 AD), at Università di Bologna. She is working on P.Leiden X and P.Holm. and their relationship to the other books in the Theban Library.

Eleni Chronopoulou has also been appointed as ‘assegnista di ricerca’ (postdoctoral researcher) in the project Papiri magici greci: revisione ecdotica e analisi lessicale at the Università di Firenze.

November 2016

The Form, Utility and Professional Technê of Practical Handbooks in the Ancient World

Saturday, November 12
8:30 am – 6:20 pm

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

As part of the activities of our project, we have organised a meeting around the topic of handbooks in antiquity. For the program, click here.


September 2016

Raquel Martín Hernández organised in Madrid the conference “Drawings, Charakteres and Figural Representations in Ancient Magic. New Perspectives” on September 15th and 16th 2016 at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. For the program, click here

July 2016

Magical papyri have a special section at the 28th International Congress of Papyrology, where many of our collaborators will present their research. Schedule is here.

Our sister project To Zodion is focusing on the study of drawings and graphics in the magical papyri.

March 2016

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We are planning our next editorial meeting in August (8-9) in the best setting for a discussion on magic, the Abbey of Montserrat. This will happen right after the Congress of Papyrology. We will soon report about the session on Magical papyri at the congress.

We are happy to report that the SBL series Writings of the Greco-Roman World has accepted to publish our edition in two volumes. For the series see: Our first plan is to distribute the material chronologically in two volumes, so the first volume will cover 1st cent. BCE to III-IV, and the second IV-VII.

Further matching funding obtained by members of our team in Spain:
Alberto Nodar and Raquel Martín have obtained project funding for three years for their collaboration on papyrological work, established between the Universities Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and Complutense in Madrid. This collaboration and work on Spanish papyrological collections can be followed at

Also Emilio Suárez de la Torre has obtained funding for his project specifically on the Greek Magical Papyri, based at the U. Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

September 2015

The first editorial meeting of the project TRANSMISSION OF MAGICAL KNOWLEDGE IN ANTIQUITY: THE PAPYRUS MAGICAL HANDBOOKS IN CONTEXT will take place on September 25th, 2015, at the Chicago Center in Paris. The program can be viewed here.

Raquel Martín Hernández (UCM, Madrid) has recently obtained one of the 63 research grants of the Fundación BBVA, Spain, one of the few in the category of Humanities. Her proposal focuses on the magical drawings and their relationship to the magical prescriptions, and she is going to be responsible within our team for the digital reproduction and study of the images in Magical Handbooks.