Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Another review of Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Eleni Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum, 102. Tübingen​: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. Pp. xvi, 258. ISBN 9783161540189. €79.00 (pb).Reviewed by Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, Bryn Mawr College (
Pachoumi’s study of The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri adds to the growing number of recent works that probe in detail the fascinating and mysterious collection of papyrus texts from Roman Egypt known (somewhat misleadingly) as the Greek Magical Papyri.1 Building upon a number of articles she has published in the last few years, Pachoumi assembles a set of analyses of specific spells within this collection of magical recipes that illuminate the underlying understanding of divinity within the ritual recipes. While Pachoumi claims that the overall picture reveals a basic consistency of ideas across the corpus, it is the rich diversity of concepts of the divine that emerges from her analysis that makes the study appealing. In the chapters of the book, Pachoumi analyzes three kinds of characterizations of divine figures within the Greek Magical Papyri: the personal daimon, the paredros divinity, and the assimilations of deities with one another. The book concludes with a wealth of appendices, indices, and bibliography, and Pachoumi provides an introductory treatment of the corpus of the Greek Magical Papyri and the study’s approach to the concepts of the divine within the syncretic context of magical ritual practice. ...
I noted the publication of the book here and another review of it here.

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