Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals
Tzvi Abusch and Daniel Schwemer
Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is a large body of magical and medical texts written in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. An especially significant branch of this literature centres upon witchcraft. Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals and incantations attribute ill-health and misfortune to the magic machinations of witches and prescribe ceremonies, devices, and treatments for dispelling witchcraft, destroying the witch, and protecting and curing the patient. The Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals aims to present a reconstruction of this body of texts; it provides critical editions of the relevant rituals and prescriptions based on the study of the cuneiform tablets and fragments recovered from the libraries of ancient Mesopotamia.
This is the first volume in the three-part Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals series. Volumes two and three are expected in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
"Even in its incomplete form, Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals is a major contribution to the study of witchcraft, supernatural belief, folk medicine (both supernatural and non-supernatural), theories of magic, incantations, and ritual. This edition is required reading for any scholar with an interest in these topics."
David Elton Gay, Indiana University