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Ancient Magician’s Curse Tablet Discovered In Jerusalem

Ancient Magician’s Curse Tablet Discovered In Jerusalem 1

Via Live Science, what used to occur before people hired attorneys:

A lead curse tablet, dating back around 1,700 years and likely written by a magician, has been discovered in a collapsed Roman mansion in Jerusalem, archaeologists report.

The text is written in Greek and, in it a woman named Kyrilla invokes the names of six gods to cast a curse on a man named Iennys, apparently over a legal case.

Kyrilla asks the gods to ensure that “he in no way oppose, so that he say or perform nothing adverse to Kyrilla … but rather that Iennys, whom the womb bore, be subject to her…”

To obtain her goal Kyrilla combined elements from four religions. Of six gods invoked, four of them are Greek (Hermes, Persephone, Pluto and Hecate), one is Babylonian (Ereschigal) and one, Abrasax, is Gnostic. Additionally, the text contains magic words such as “Iaoth” that have a Hebrew/Judaism origin.

Kyrilla and her curse-recipient, both probably members of the Roman middle or upper class, were likely in some legal dispute, as the curse tablet bears similarities to others found in Cyprus that are known to have been used in legal cases. Additionally the word “opposition” in this text hints at a legal matter.

The researchers also found female figurines, probably depicting a goddess. They were likely used in a “private cult” whose members included residents of the mansion.

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