Horus, Isis, and the Dark-Eyed Beauty a Series of Magical Ostraca in the Brigham Young University Collection

Lincoln H. Blumell and Korshi Dosoo


O.BYU Mag., a Coptic love spell written continuously over three successive ostraca, consists largely of a narrative in which Horus asks for the help of his mother Isis to win the love of a woman whom he meets in the underworld. It is one of twenty-two known Coptic magical texts that mention Egyptian or Greek deities, and its narrative is paralleled almost exactly in three of these. Dating to the seventh or eighth century CE, it provides important evidence regarding the knowledge and survival of Egyptian deities at a time when Egypt was thoroughly Christian.

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The Archiv für Papyrusforschung is the oldest specialised papyrus studies journal in the world. Nowadays, the APF differs from other journals specializing in papyrus studies, on account of its papers (literary papyri, Christian texts, papers on documents, judicial articles, Coptic texts and documents, demotica, interpretations and resources).