A late witness to Valentinian devotion in Egypt?

Theodore S. de Bruyn 1
  • 1 University of Ottawa, Department of Classics and Religious Studies, 55 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa ON, Canada K1N 6N5


Among the spells with Christian elements published in Papyri Graecae Magicae is a charitesion or “good luck charm,” Papyrus Wessely Pragensis Graecus no. 1.1 The spell concludes with an acclamation to Jesus Christ that is remarkable for its long series of epithets. These have thus far eluded satisfactory explanation. Several of the epithets recall language used in Valentinian writings to express the relationship between Father and Son in Valentinian protology and soteriology. This paper presents evidence to support reading the acclamation as an expression of Valentinian devotion, and discusses the significance of such an acclamation in a spell that may have been written in the fifth century, taking into account the scribal features of the papyrus.

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