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Panagiota Sarischouli, University of Thessaloniki

Despite the availability of data from a variety of cultures, locations, and periods, a systematic compilation of the complete corpus of Graeco-Egyptian voces magicae is still needed. An international research team, based at the Universities of Thessaloniki, Chicago, Madrid, and Würzburg, will work together to design and establish the “Names and Orality in Magic IN Antiquity” [NOMINA] database, which will record and process magical word- or letter-strings mainly associated with Graeco-Egyptian magic. Each entry will provide information on the distribution of a specific vox magica, its interpretation or etymology (if a proposal is possible or has already been made), its intended visual and/or auditory effects (including links to images when needed), and the existing secondary literature on it (or related forms), allowing the database users to locate additional information by providing links to theme-related websites. The research team members will collaborate to record and study c. 4000 voces magicae, which are found in Greek and bilingual (Demotic/Greek) magical formularies and activated texts. We will monitor our progress, and, as appropriate, expand our scope to include similar material of different cultures (Coptic, Arabic, Jewish, Mesopotamian) and eras (up to the early Byzantine era). Our main goals are to explore the transculturality of the voces magicae, and to evaluate their linguistic complexity. We hope that the NOMINA-database will constitute a useful tool for Classicists, Papyrologists, Egyptologists, linguists, cultural historians, historians of religion, archaeologists as well as for students in the respective fields.

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