Another Look at the Mandaic Incantation Bowl BM 91715

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Among the incantation bowls in the British Museum recently published by J. B. Segal is an interesting Mandaic specimen from Kutha (BM 91715) which contains two independent incantations separated by a line: a historiola relating the expulsion of a particular lilith and the report of a dream purportedly dreamt by the client, Basniray daughter of Sahafrid.1 The historiola also occurs in another Mandaic bowl from Kutha written in a different hand for the same client (BM 91780:1ff.)2 and in a Mandaic bowl of unknown provenance in the Martin Schøyen collection soon to be published by S. Shaked (MS 2054/122:14ff.). A late version of the dream report occurs in DC (= MS. Drower) 37(R). The parallel suggests that this was not an actual dream, but a once well-known magical motif. Segal's edition of the two British Museum bowls contains a number of inaccuracies in both the transcriptions and the translations. The present author will thus propose a new transcription and annotated translation of BM 91715 based on the published photographs. A new transcription and translation of BM 91780 based on the published photographs and an edition of the parallel section of DC 37(R) will be presented in appendices.3 For photographs of the bowls, the reader is requested to refer to Segal's study.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-47
JournalJournal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society
StatePublished - 2002


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