VMBA: Virtual Magic Bowl Archive
The aim of VMBA is to provide an environment that will allow collaborative work on material that is otherwise difficult to access or unavailable. The material within this archive consists, at this stage, of parts of three collections: The Moussaieff Collection, The Dehays Collection and The Barakat Collection. By providing access to this material to a number of scholars and their students we aim to encourage the production of critical editions of these texts and their publication. A single portal providing access to a shared virtual environment where this can occur provides a convenient forum for collaboration between a small group of scholars from different institutions spread in a number of countries.
Within VMBA scholars can work on material collaboratively. The virtual archive provides an environment within which scholars and students can work in view of each other and take full advantage of the expertise of the whole collective. Additionally, it will foster a mentoring approach by encouraging the participation of post graduate students who can benefit from the watchful eye, comments and suggestions of the more experienced scholars.
VMBA is the product of a variety of collaborations within The University of Southampton and without. I would like to thank and acknowledge the support and very good will of the EdShare and i-Solutions teams as well as other administrative and academic colleagues at The University of Southampton. I would also like to thank my academic collaborators who have been partners in the formation of the concept and have offered great encouragement throughout. We are all thankful to Dr Moussieff, Mr Dehays and the Barakat Gallery for providing access to their collections for the purposes of academic study.
Click 'here' for access to Bibliographical and Abbreviation list
Click 'here' for access to the Prosopography Database
Prosopography of the Babylonian Magic Bowls: An IntroductionOrtal-Paz Saar
The main reason for compiling a database of personal names included in the Babylonian magic bowls is a desire to find out more about the individuals behind the magic. Who were the people that made use of magical texts and magical items? What can we say about their personal lives, as reflected in the articles of magic they left behind? There are several ways to approach these questions, and one of them is prosopography.
The prosopographic database uploaded on the Southampton University website currently comprises names from almost all the magic bowls that have been published so far, be they Jewish Aramaic, Syriac or Mandaic texts. Since there is no full bibliography of the subject, there are likely to be some publications still missing from the database, yet these are probably few. The database covers all the major publications of magic bowls corpora (e.g. Montgomery 1913, Naveh and Shaked 1985 and 1993, Levene 2003, Müller-Kessler 2005), in addition to numerous articles that present several bowls (e.g. Gordon 1937 and 1941, Geller 1986), or only one or two bowls (e.g. Obermann 1940, Hunter 1994). Each item is significant, since every bowl that contains personal names may shed important light on the questions raised by the database. In addition to personal names originating in magic bowls, the database also includes a small number of names derived from lead and parchment amulets that appear to belong to approximately the same chronological and geographical frame as the incantation bowls. These items are clearly marked as distinct from the bowls, yet being a similar type of magical artifact, the personal names they contain were included in the database...