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The Donkey in the Graeco-Egyptian Papyri

Rita Lucarelli    Berkeley, University of California, USA    

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abstract

In ancient Egyptian religion, the donkey is generally associated to Seth and to its manifestation as a donkey and in the Graeco-Egyptian papyri Seth and the donkey are also commonly identified with Typhon. However, in a few spells the donkey occurs as a ritual and sacrificial animal, not necessarily in relation to the god Seth but just as an example of materia magica. In this article, on the basis of Betz’s English translation of the Graeco-Egyptian magical papyri, those spells of the PGM corpus, where the mention of the donkey or of parts of its body and fluids occurs, are listed and discussed in relation to the magical and ritual meaning of the donkey/ass within the PGM. In particular, two thematic groups of spells will be distinguished: those where the donkey is clearly associated to the Egyptian god Seth and the Greek Typhon, and those where the animal seems to be only an example of “material magica”.


keywords: Ancient Egyptian Magic. Donkey. Seth. Typhon. Materia Magica. Graeco Egyptian Papyri.

Language: en

Submitted: Nov. 8, 2016   Accepted: Dec. 8, 2016   Published: July 12, 2017  
permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/6969-180-5/ANT-11-8

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License