Material Text Cultures

Materiality and Presence of Magical Signs between Antiquity and the Middle Ages


Subprojects of the 3rd Funding Period (2019-2023)

Practices for gaining favour and popularity (Egyptology)
(Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedrich Quack, Anett Rózsa)
Prayers for Justice to Gods and Demons (Papyrology)
(Prof. Dr. Andrea Jördens, Dott. Giuditta Mirizio)

Subprojects of the 2nd Funding Period (2015-2019)

Ächtungsfiguren und ihre Deponierung
(Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedrich Quack, Carina Kühne-Wespi, Anett Rózsa)
Magic in context: defixiones and the communication with ancient Gods
(Prof. Dr. Andrea Jördens, Dott. Giuditta Mirizio)
Magische Schriftlichkeit und ihre Deponierung in mittelalterlichen Gräbern
(Prof. Dr. Thomas Meier, Konrad Knauber)

Subproject of the 1st Funding Period (2011-2015)

From Papyrus Leaf to Gem – The Use and Change of Pictorial Motifs and Signs (Egyptology)
(Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedrich Quack, Dr. Christoffer Theis, Dr. Kirsten Dzwiza)
Amulets in Late Egyptian Antiquity
(Prof. Dr. Andrea Jördens, Laura Willer)
Continuity and Change in the Materiality of Magic Signs in Iran between Antiquity and Islamic Times
(Dr. Sarah Kiyanrad)


Subproject A03 addresses the materiality and presence of magical signs between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The main theme of the second funding period was Destruction of and Protection from Enemies with the Assistance of Higher Powers. Research in the third funding period is dedicated to Gaining Favour (UP1) and the Enforcement of Law (UP2) by Means of Higher Powers. The two A03 subprojects are linked to the items investigated in the first two funding periods in two ways. First, artefact categories (amulets) and writing materials (cut stones, lead plates) that have been the subject of systematic analysis will be used again. Second, there is clear thematic continuity: it is necessary to analyse a wealth of different sources and to discuss the materiality and presence of magical signs in greater detail both from a perspective within this subject field and from a transcultural perspective.

These two topics open up fascinating questions: What is the extent of the connection between practices for gaining favour and the actual social and private dimensions of those involved (Subproject 1)? To what extent can connections be drawn between social realities and the materials, forms and practices of pleas directed towards gods? What does this say about the relationship to any existing secular authorities (Subproject 2)?

Magical practices permeate broad parts of pre-modern life and are reflected in a wide range of materials and written forms of expression. Subproject A03 is in this context an important interface between CRC 933 and the other subprojects via numerous points of connection.



Subprojects of the 3rd Funding Period

A01 A02 A03 A05 A06 A08 A09 A10 A11 A12 B01 B04 B09 B10 B13 B14 B15 C05 C07 C08 C09 C10 INF Ö2 Z



Completed Subprojects

A01 A03 A04 B02 B03 B06 B07 B11 B12 C01 C02 C03 C04 C06 IGK Ö1



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