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Karl Preisendanz - Papyri Graecae Magicae Or Greek Magical Papyri Texts (534.0 Kb)

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The Greek Magical Papyri (papyri is plural of papyrus) (commonly abbreviated to PGM from the Latin title Papyri Graecae Magicae) is a collective term for a collection of texts, written mostly in Ancient Greek (but also in Coptic, Demotic Egyptian, etc.), found in the deserts of Egypt, which cast light in some way on the magico-religious syncretistic world of Greco-Roman Egypt and the surrounding area. Giovanni Anastasi bought the papyri in Egypt about 1827. The "Thebes Cache" also contained the Stockholm papyrus and Leinden ... More >>>
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Author:      Karl Preisendanz
Format:      eBook
The Greek Magical Papyri (papyri is plural of papyrus) (commonly abbreviated to PGM from the Latin title Papyri Graecae Magicae) is a collective term for a collection of texts, written mostly in Ancient Greek (but also in Coptic, Demotic Egyptian, etc.), found in the deserts of Egypt, which cast light in some way on the magico-religious syncretistic world of Greco-Roman Egypt and the surrounding area. Giovanni Anastasi bought the papyri in Egypt about 1827. The "Thebes Cache" also contained the Stockholm papyrus and Leinden X papyrus (alchemical writings). His collection was dispersed in the 1840s and 1850's.

Many of these pieces of papyrus are pages or fragmentary extracts from spell books, repositories of arcane knowledge and mystical secrets. As far as they have been reconstructed, these books appear to fall into two broad categories: some are compilations of spells and magical writings, gathered by scholarly collectors either out of academic interest or for some kind of study of magic others may have been the working manuals of travelling magicians, containing their repertoire of spells, formulae for all occasions. These often poorly educated magic-users were more like showmen than the traditional Egyptian wizards, who were a highly educated and respected priestly elite. The pages contain spells, recipes, formulae and prayers, interspersed with magic words and often in shorthand, with abbreviations for the more common formulae. These spells range from impressive and mystical summonings of dark gods and daemons, to folk remedies and even parlour tricks from portentous, fatal curses, to love charms, cures for impotence and minor medical complaints.

In many cases the formulaic words and phrases are strikingly similar to those found in defixiones, such as those we find inscribed on ostraka, amulets and lead tablets. Since some of these defixiones date from as early as the sixth century BCE, and have been found as far afield as Athens, Asia Minor, Rome and Sicily (as well as Egypt), this provides a degree of continuity and suggests that some observations based on the PGM will not be altogether inapplicable to the study of the wider Greco-Roman world.

About Author:

Karl Leberecht Reinhard Preisendanz (born July 22, 1883 in Ellmendingen; + April 26, 1968 in Heidelberg) was a German classical philologist, papyrologist, paleograph and librarian.

Karl Preisendanz studied classical philology, German and philosophy at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich. After receiving his doctorate in Heidelberg in 1906, he worked as a high school teacher. Besides teaching, he dealt with Library and Book Trade and published translations of Greek and Latin authors. In 1904 as a 21-year-old Heidelberg student he edited a selection of German adaptations of Greek poetry entitled Hellenic singer in German verses. It was followed by four German Platon volumes and a German Seneca selection in publisher Eugen Diederichs in the years 1908 to 1910. For his work he received his freedom palaeographic 1910-1914 from the teaching profession. His philological work led Karl Preisendanz with several special essays on, which reached a climax in 1911 with the large facsimile edition of the Anthologia Palatina. His initiation with exact codicological examination of handwriting has remained fundamental for the anthology research, and himself accompanied the anthology of his life: Again and again he was able to publish individual results of these studies After several months of use in World War I (1914-1915) was. he appointed 1916 administrator of the manuscript department of the Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe. In the following decades he became one of the leading and Papyrologists palaeographers.

1934 Karl Preisendanz was, who had joined the NSDAP in May 1933, appointed Director of the Badische Landesbibliothek, succeeding the sacked because of the Nazi racial laws Ferdinand Rieser. In 1935 he joined as a senior director of the library at the University of Heidelberg. Since 1917 he was Titular Professor and since 1937 honorary professor and since 1939 a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. In the same year he founded at the University of Heidelberg, the Institute of Palaeography and represented from 1941 to 1944 to the conscientious retracted Professor of Classics Hildebrecht Hommel.

1945 Preisendanz was dismissed as beneficiaries of Nazism by the American occupation forces. It was in 1947 classified as "fellow travelers" and set 1949 as the Library Council and head of the manuscript department of the university library again. In 1951 he retired and remained thereafter his palaeographical teaching of university and library, respectively. He also was in the 1935 and 1951 Publisher of the New Heidelberg Yearbooks. In April 1968, he brought even its program for the summer semester the Philological seminar, but died on April 26, 1968. Karl Preisendanz could celebrate the 30th anniversary of its membership of the Heidelberg Academy of sciences this year.

For Altertumswissenschaft Karl Preisendanz especially as editor of numerous manuscripts and papyri of great importance. The main result of his work was 1928-1931 magicae the edition which started by Albrecht Dieterich and Richard Wunsch collection Papyri Graecae. The Greek magical papyri which he could add his translations. The edition has been revised after his death (2nd revised edition, 1973 to 1974) and reprinted last 2,001th His overall presentation papyrology, papyrus finds and Papyrus research, published in 1933 in the publishing Hiersemann. Aged Karl Preisendanz also dealt with modern literature and published the first complete edition of the works of Emanuel Bodmans (Reclam-Verlag, 1951 to 1960). In 1941 appeared in the island publishing his book Liselotte von der Pfalz. Letters (Island Library 352).

Karl Preisendanz had two children and was married to his second wife Anneliese Preisendanz, with whom he lived until his death in Heidelberg.

Karl Preisendanz Bibliography:

- Heinz Martin Werhahn: Karl Preisendanz 80th birthday. In: Heidelberg Yearbooks 7, 1963, pp 168-170.
- Margreth Diehl, Sacha Nokk: Karl Preisendanz. Directory of his writings. In: Heidelberg Yearbooks 7, 1963, pp 170-183.
- Franz Dirlmeier: Karl Preisendanz + (22.7.1883-26.4.1968). In: Yearbook of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. 1969 (1970), pp 49-53.
- Hildegard Muller: Preisendanz, Karl. In: Baden-Wurttembergische biographies. Vol. 1, 1994, p 282-284.
- Sources for the history of the University of Heidelberg from 1870 to 1945. An inventory. Started by Hildegard Muller (Notebooks Preisendanz) and continued by Jutta Hager, Heidelberg, University Library 1996 (pp 183-275 partial estate Karl Preisendanz).
- Johannes Buder: Preisendanz, Karl Leberecht Reinhard. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 20, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-00201-6, S. 686 f.
- Angelos Chaniotis, Ulrich Thaler: Ancient Studies. In: Wolfgang Uwe Eckart, Volker Sellin, Eike Wolgast: The University of Heidelberg under National Socialism. Springer, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-540-21442-7, pp 391-434 (to Preisendanz especially pp 406, 411, 425-426)
- Armin Schlechter: The University Library. In: Wolfgang Uwe Eckart, Volker Sellin, Eike Wolgast: The University of Heidelberg under National Socialism. Springer, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-540-21442-7, pp 95ff.