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Katabasis to the netherworld (1)

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03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

04 Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

Roman Empire
Papyri from Egypt

Papyri Graeci Magici 70.4-25:
“(Charm) of Hecate Ereschigal against fear of punishment (in the underworld). If (the punishment daimon) comes forth, say to him: ‘I am Ereschigal, the one holding her thumbs, and not even one evil can befall her.’ If, however, he comes close to you, take hold of your right heel and recite the following: ‘Ereschigal, virgin, bitch, serpent, wreath, key, herald’s wand, golden sandal of the Lady of Tartarus.’ And you will avert (him). ‘askei kataskei erōn oreōn iōr mega samnyēr bayi three times, phobantia semnē. I have been initiated, and I went down into the [underground] chamber of the Dactyls, and I saw the other things down below, virgin, bitch, and all the rest.’ Say it at (the) cross-road (in the underworld), and turn around and flee, because it is at those places that she appears. Saying it late at night, about what you wish, it will reveal (it) in your sleep; and if you are led away to death, say it while scattering seeds of sesam, and it will save you. ‘Phorba phorba Brimō azziebya.’ Take bran of first quality and sandalwood and vinegar of the sharpest sort and mold a cake and write the name of NN upon it, and inscribe it in such a way that you speak over it into the light the name of Hecate, and this: ‘Take away his sleep from this NN,’ and he will be sleepless and worried.”

Source (list of abbreviations)
Papyri Graeci Magici 70.4-25


Betz 1996, 297-298Betz, Hans Dieter. The Greek magical papyri in translation. Including the Demotic spells. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1996.

Amar Annus

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