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Publication: Journal of the American Oriental Society
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 27321
ISSN: 00030279
Journal code: PJOS

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-USASCII text omitted.)

Eastern Aramaic dialects in Late Antiquity are an intriguing but complicated area of research. One particular area of interest that provides new insights and information on the character of Eastern Aramaic is that of incantation bowls. New texts have continuously been published in recent years, expanding this resource considerably. Many editions of bowls, however, are old and outdated, and are in need of re-editing or at least collation. Thus there is a parallel need in Aramaic Studies to edit and publish new bowl texts on the one hand and to re-edit and collate older editions on the other. 1

First editions of texts are not an easy undertaking. An accurate transliteration is a prerequisite for any edition, in addition to notes or comments on unusual features. A translation is required in order that the reader better understands the text and, depending on the type of text, further analytical comments may be added.

In 2000, the present authors published an unusual incantation bowl (BM 135563). 2 Almost simultaneously, J. B. Segal in his catalogue independently edited the same text. 3 Our text edition differed from Segal's not only in the readings but also in emphasizing the unique linguistic character of the bowl text, which was composed in Babylonian Talmudic Aramaic (BTA), and in pointing out a Mandaic forerunner, parallels, and Akkadian motifs.

In 2004, M. Morgenstern published an article entitled "Notes on a Recently Published Magic Bowl,"4 which is actually a revised version of our text edition. In our view, however, these "notes" have not improved upon the text sufficiently to justify a new edition. The few suggestions made by Morgenstern do not change the general understanding or judgment as to the character of the text. And Morgenstern's assertion that he would show that "the bowl presents a text that is more cogent and better structured than either of the existing editions suggest"5 is not substantiated. Instead, superficial divisions of certain sections of the Aramaic text are introduced. These designated sections are not even indicated in his translation. Moreover, the divisions are neither explained nor the sections analyzed, and thus the reader is left in a quandary as to why sections F, F', and FF" are parallel. If Morgenstern' s interpretation of the verbal forms is followed, sections F and F' cannot be parallel, since section F has asyndetic imperatives and F' perfect forms. The parallelism is only maintained when the verb forms are read as imperfect in F and F' as in our edition. F" is not parallel with F and F' at all.6

In regard to the present authors' edition it was never our intention to present a literary analysis of the text, since this would have required more comparative material and would have deviated from the focus of the article, which concerns the dialect of the text. Instead of showing that the bowl is more cogent and better structured than either existing edition, in many instances Morgenstern offers confused and unclear comments, in addition to misquoting and misrepresenting the authors.

His treatment has ignored three important aspects of the text: 1) the nature of the language is not addressed at all, but instead the reader is referred to a future article on linguistic variation;7 2) the "Sitz im Leben" of the incantation is not taken into consideration; and 3) Mandaic features, including parallels, and Akkadian motifs have been ignored.


Before discussing the text further, we would like to make some remarks on scholarly terminology. Although many technical terms have changed or have been replaced by new linguistic terminology over the last decades, some basic terms remain universal. Morgenstern has employed in his publications a number of terms that do not correspond to conventional usage.

Morgenstern is apparently unfamiliar with the distinction between "transliteration" and "transcription."8 A transliteration is a means of rendering letters of a text into another script on a one-to-one basis. This may be either a transliteration into Latin, Hebrew, or any other conventional script (IPA). A transcription interprets the text according to grammatical rules, i.e., adding the speech sounds of the foreign text.9 The present authors published their text version in a Latin transliteration and Morgenstern in a Hebrew transliteration. Morgenstern states in his article: "Both MKK and Segal present their transcriptions in transliteration. I have rendered their versions into the Hebrew script, which naturally involves the employment of final letters which their transcriptions do not distinguish." 10 Firstly, our text is a transliteration and not a transcription. Secondly, the transliteration system is not our own but the standard employed for all Semitic languages in the academic world. 1 1 All transliteration systems have minor faults, including that of Hebrew, which cannot represent double consonants. And it should be noted that Morgenstern has not rendered our "versions" into Hebrew script but has made an independent transliteration of the text.

Morgenstern is also unsure about the grammatical terms "declined" and "conjugated." The words are not synonyms, but are clearly distinguished in grammatical usage. A noun, an adjective, and a pronoun can be declined, especially in inflected languages where cases are productive, e.g., Latin, German, Russian, and Arabic. Only verbs can be conjugated. Morgenstern uses "declined" in connection with verbs. 12 In his review of Segal's publication of BM bowls (p. 122) he states "This root is effectively quadriliteral and declines like paccel, which takes the prefix /ni-/, e.g., b. Yoma 2a."

Morgenstern consistently uses the term "material" in place of "graphic."13 This usage is naturally incorrect, since the two words are not interchangeable. Standard terms should always be employed in describing orthographic features.

When a phoneme is dropped in final position one speaks of "apocope" and not of "elision." The latter indicates the dropping of a vowel or syllable in medial position, and is not a synonym for apocope. 14

The terms "pseudo-historical" and "non-historical" are incorrectly used. What Morgenstern means in these cases is "etymological." 15 He also employs the term "epigraphy" for "palaeography" in reference to ink writing on clay bowls. 16


Morgenstern presents an apparatus, listing readings of the previous editions and discusses those that he considers preferable. This is often done subjectively without any substantial evidence and contributes little towards improving the text. 17 The observation that the present authors made "many textual emendations" (p. 208) is misleading. Text parallels clearly show that the emendations made in our original publication are justified. The Mandaic forerunner demonstrates that the BTA version is defective and has been miscopied in several instances. Since there does not yet exist a complete Mandaic parallel, it is conceivable that the BTA incantation formulas have been compiled from various stock phrases translated from Mandaic or another standard Aramaic source into BTA. 18 At this point the Mandaic parallel offers a more reliable text version. It may be assumed that the BTA text is dependent on the Mandaic or a similar Aramaic text version such as a non-standard text. Magic formularies are often built upon common expressions that may become incoherent when adapted into other Aramaic dialects, and consequently lead to scribal errors. This is an important issue for the understanding of such texts. The narrative in the present bowl, however, is not as coherent throughout the text as Morgenstern claims. 19 That the text is not derived from one source may be deduced from the fact that the ritual in 1. 11 occurs in two unrelated texts (BM 91776 and ZRL 48). Magic texts are often compilations composed of borrowed phrases (e.g., demon lists) and embedded sections. The present authors agree that textual corrections should be only employed cautiously and when there are compelling grounds.

The bowl contains a "specimen" text, which is an incantation type that has its forerunners in Akkadian models. The present BTA text, however, despite its difficulties and corrupted spellings, is thus a model of an Aramaic incantation type text that developed in Babylonia parallel to the Akkadian one over several centuries. The Aramaic incantation in cuneiform from Uruk is the first and earliest example of such a text. As in the case of the Uruk specimen, a "Vorlagetext," the bowl text begins with a magic story in the first person singular; the client is the protagonist and takes his place at the gate or opening of a building. The text quite frequently employs the historical present participle in the narrative as an alternative to the perfect (the Uruk incantation uses only the perfect). Certain text passages are consistently repeated in identical sequence by changing the actors (using identical tenses, here the imperfect). The bowl text concludes with a short ritual that is missing in the Uruk incantation. 20

In attempting to structure the text, Morgenstern omits in his interpretation and corrections certain parallel passages that must be taken into account for the typology, since they belong to the structure of Aramaic incantation texts.


Line 1: ... is a well-known expression from the Babylonian Talmud and does not need to be noted. Instead Morgenstern should have pointed out that in Mesopotamian magic the concept of demons lurking in all kinds of openings, such as ruins, buildings, graves, and so on is widespread. For this reason, protective bowls or mezuzas were placed in entrances of buildings, and certain texts contain opening formulas that refer to these places. MüllerKessler has published and discussed examples of similar opening formulas in Aramaic magical stories21 that are not mentioned by Morgenstern.

Line 2: M. Geller, in commenting on this bowl, claims that the names Bablita and Borsipita do not refer to goddesses, as we suggested, but are gentilics (our term).22 Thus the comparison of the client is with Babylonian and Borsippean women. On the other hand, DJB A lists Borsipita as a pure gentilic probably on formal grounds without reference to the present passage of the Bablita entry.23 Of the three possibilities (goddess, gentilic, woman), Geller, in our opinion, has chosen the least likely meaning. The client protecting herself against evil sorceries and various types of demons has rendered herself either into a demon on equal footing or into something of a higher status such as a goddess. It is improbable that a Babylonian or Borsippean woman would serve as a protector. Geller' s comment that Babylonian and Borsippean are known from the Babylonian Talmud, however, is misleading since neither of the words is attested there; only the place names are attested, not the feminine gentilics. This does not dissuade him from discussing the place names Babylon and Borsippa as being evil omens for the Torah, something that has little relevance to Bablita and Borsipita. In addition, a famous passage in AZ 11a is quoted which has no relevance to the interpretation of Babylonian and Borsippean.

Line 3: Morgenstern remarks that the preposition -3 before ?57?? is missing in our transliteration. It is only omitted, however, in the transliteration of our synopsis on p. 165, where it is not necessary. Morgenstern's transliteration incorrectly renders ?3?? for ?571? p. 209, although it is transliterated on p. 218 ?571?.

Gusnazdukht bat Ahat compares herself to the round earth that no one can bend, which in turn may be compared to Mandaic m'Py' d-'rq' "the girth of the earth." The verb ,:?DO is obviously derived from a root IIw or II=III and is similar to the Mandaic variant k'yyply. The scribe used the Mandaic graphic convention of combining the preposition with the verb in one word, although in 1. 9 he separates both and writes it with final pe.

Line 4: Dubious in our opinion is Morgenstern's proposal, following a suggestion from Naveh, that '? is the presentative particle ??, or Mandaic h'y or hyn. It is more likely that this is the third person singular feminine pronoun being used as a copula: ?3? ?8? '012? TI "h ,!Üö xV ???? "I am the high heaven so that no one (can) reach me," as translated by the present authors in their edition of 2000. (N^atf? 'heaven' is almost always a feminine singular in Eastern Aramaic dialects and consequently, the word was translated as the copula 'am'. Even Morgenstern, to wit, translates TI as the copula 'am' !

Comparable spellings for the plurale tantum ">WD as in "? 'life' instead of K'TI occur in the bowls »? (BM 91771:14, VA 2492:4, YBC 2393:2) and in the Babylonian Talmud.24 Thus the spelling 'OB? is not unusual.

Our textual emendation To ,...10'?? is based on the parallel in ... and Mandaic d-'nys V 'kyl mynh. The Mandaic variant is not taken into consideration by Morgenstern. It is not necessary to introduce an "ethical dative" ... spelled as an apocopated ..., there. A strict parallelism is more feasible for the text interpretation.

Sokoloff translates ... as "overcome me,"25 but does not take into account the parallel phrase where ... occurs, meaning 'to reach'.

In Morgenstern's transliteration a "!" is missing after tet in ..., where it is necessary since the scribe has apparently made a correction writing tet over sadeh. In the bowl text there is no space between the verb and preposition, although Morgenstern indicates such spacing in his transliteration and in his list of readings.26

Line 5: Morgenstern considers ... a proper noun and translates "Merari River," both here and in 1. 9,27 despite the fact that such a river name is not attested. Sokoloff indicates the word as a noun and translates "the river of bitterness."28 If the Mandaic parallel n'hl3 hw m'ryr' is taken into consideration, it is more likely that the word is the adjective 'bitter'. Taking into account that there are a number of scribal errors in this text, it is obvious that certain forms were conflated by textual transmission.

The interpretation of ... "my house is flooded" is based on the parallel ... ... "your upper room is inundated" in 1. 10. Since the publication of our edition several Aramaic text passages have come to our attention where ... is used in the meaning 'to bathe'. In this case an Akkadian loan is more likely than a Hebrew borrowing.29 The expected Aramaic verb is y G? as found in Imperial Aramaic, in Qumran Aramaic of the Testament of Levi and the Heavenly Jerusalem, and later in the Cairo Genizah.30 The alternative suggestion by Segal followed by Morgenstern that the phrase should be understood as "the house is secure" is doubtful on the basis that the Aramaic verb ... is never used in the sense of securing an object, but mostly in personal usages such as ... 'to trust, rely on someone'.

Line 6: Morgenstern does not treat the verbal form ..., which should be emended to ..., since there is no pecal stem attested for this verb in Aramaic. ... is hardly ever attested in BTA [only in Palestinian passages] in contrast to Mandaic.31 Mandaic, however, knows the syncopated noun of the same root ml'l 'speech, word' instead of m'ml'l'.

In an article on deictic pronouns, Nebe proposes to interpret ... as a demonstrative pronoun and thus translates ... "es kamen diese Zauberer."32 This apparently explains the unexpected preposition ... in BTA. However, the frequent usage of ... as an expression to describe demons that come to do harm to someone can be found in Mandaic magic stories: bhn't. gbr. swr'yh m'wmyn'lkwn d-srh'} w't' 'lykwn w'skhynkwn kwlkwn "By that Suraian (mistake for nwkr'yh 'alien') Gabra I adjured you, by the one who threw himself down and came upon you and found you all" 13Aal6-19 (BM 135791 I; unpublished); kd ctyt ? V gwb'q rys ml'k' cwz bnh d-bwzn'y ml'kywn d-kwlhyn h'[l\yn "When I, GubaqDew, the chief angel (and) Uz, the sons of Buznay, the king of all these (demons) came against her" YBC 2364:24-25;33 wcsyr['] wrgyV lcgr'ywn d-l* nctwn H <p(yr nwkr'y' gbr> wm'm'y pt m'rt* cntt' "and bound and hobbled are their feet so that they cannot come against <Pir Nukraya, the man> and Mamay pat Martha, the woman" 5Bb 12-14 (BM 1 32955+; unpublished).

In his 2004 publication, Morgenstern criticized the emendation ... In 2007, he states in a confused footnote "Müller-Kessler and Kwasman slightly misrepresented his position" and then goes on to clarify what he meant in his earlier publication: "Since the form is repeated three times in this text, while "... is never attested, the suggested correction would not appear to be justified. I have emphasized here the words in this text, because they touch precisely on a difference of approach between Dr. Müller-Kessler and me. I believe that each textual witness should be judged according to its own language, and in the bowl in question, the demon is clearly named ..."

In fact Morgenstern did not write: "in this text" in his original publication, but clearly stated that ... is never attested. Morgenstern in his retort has misquoted himself, naturally to his own advantage. He cannot claim that "MK and ? slightly misrepresented" his position, since he did not clearly articulate his standpoint in the first publication but only clarified what he meant in the second. The originally ill-expressed statement also cannot be explained as a difference in approach by which Morgenstern states "that each text should be judged according to its own language and the bowl in question. The demon is clearly ..." This is an unacceptable "approach," since many textual problems can be only be explained by means of parallel text witnesses and cannot be "judged" as isolated instances. In this very case we are dealing with a well-attested demon name. There are very few variations in demon names and these often occur in set sequences. To assert that ... is a correct form is more than misleading, since it is only attested in this bowl, and the spelling ... must be associated with ... since a demon ... is otherwise not attested. To connect this name with ... as Morgenstern suggested in his 2004 article (omitted in his note in his 2007 article) is excluded on the grounds that ... precedes in this demon list: ... In addition, in his original article Morgenstern noted that the interchange occurs in loanwords, but is actually unknown in BTA lexemes. Thus our emendation is based on the fact that ... is not attested in any demon group and outside of this text is actually not attested at all. Also, it is not true that ... is never attested in the same language (sicl) as claimed by Morgenstern. In the piene spelling ... the name occurs as a demon group in eastern Aramaic magical texts ... (Moussaieff 6:12),35 ... (JTS 950:7 = Gordon H).36 In Mandaic it was attested previously asp'qdy' zykry' wp)qdy) nwqb'f DC 43 A14,37 and now also in an unpublished lead roll qly' , prykwn d-hwrnrf1 wpyqdy' wpyqd't' (lCd64-65 [BM 134699; 1965-10-13,4]).

In his 2007 article Morgenstern discusses assimilation of a medial daleth or taw in the vicinity of a bilabial. He states the following: "the affricated dalet has a tendency to assimilate,"38 to which a footnote is appended on ... that begins with the following sentence: "Given these cases of a fricative dalet . . ."39 This is slightly contradictory. The discussion in the article is about assimilation and an affricative daleth and in the footnote Morgenstern is suddenly talking about the elision of a fricative daleth. Naturally, this may easily be misunderstood, since Morgenstern has not clearly articulated what he meant. And such cases are exemplary for what he considers slight misrepresentations, but are clearly due to his own fault.

Line 7: Morgenstern has reread these lines as ... He interprets ... at the beginning of the line as a direct speech marker and claims that its use in Aramaic dialects is widespread. He refers to Epstein and DJBA.40 The use of ... in BTA is not widespread, however, and is not easily recognizable.41 Although the change of person is usually considered as an indication of direct speech, this is not always the case. In BTA, ... for direct speech is probably not used and it is also possible that the use of the ... could indicate indirect speech, especially when the verbum dicendi is followed by ... The entire subject still needs a thorough study.42 Also the verbal forms in the passage must be imperfect and not imperative, since they are immediately followed by a relative clause with an active participle. Even more important, however, are 11. 7 and 8, since they are parallel, and although in 1. 7 it is possible to analyze the forms as two asyndetic imperatives, this is impossible for 1. 8, since such parallels must agree in form corresponding to the text structure. The "Systemzwang" in the magic literary structure is based on this kind of repetitive parallelism.

Thus our reading and interpretation has to be maintained:

You shall eat what I eat; ...

and you shall drink what I drink; ...

and you shall anoint what I anoint. ...


Thus my palate can eat what you eat; item ...

and can drink what you drink; ...

and can anoint what you anoint? ...

Although Morgenstern admits that our interpretation of ... for BTA ... is possible, he states that "it would seem preferable to view the form -TO in the text as reflecting /midds-/ and I have translated accordingly here" (p. 216). This is again somewhat unclear. The word is translated "from what" and would imply that he is referring to the BTA preposition ... As a preposition, however, it has the meaning 'from that of and not 'from what' and is foUowed by a noun. ... as variant ... is also attested in MSS variants of the Babylonian Talmud.43 We do not understand why Morgenstern interprets the words as ... 'something', and goes on to translate it exactly as we do as a correlative 'what'. One would expect at least the spelling ... in this text if Morgenstern's suggestion had any foundation.

The verbs in the passage have a parallel in 1. 9. The verbal forms must be taken here as imperfect in the main clause and as the active participle present in the relative clause, ... since the parallel in 1. 8 ... shows identical verbal forms.44

Line 8: Read ... instead of ... as Morgenstern. In contrast to our translation, Sokoloff translates "you are the wide earth whom no one can subordinate."45

Line 10: In his additional notes Morgenstern states the following: "... - In my article (p. 211) I hesitatingly followed Müller-Kessler and Kwasman's interpretation and translated thus 'your trays (?) of flour.'"46 We translated the passage as "the spreading of your flour."47 And it was actually Morgenstern who translated "as your trays of flour."48 We have interpreted the word ...; as a verb 'spreading', and not a noun, since we related it to the use of flour in Akkadian magic rituals. The present authors are open to well-founded criticism - but for our own efforts, and not for translations that we did not make.

It is probable that the profession of a miller or grinder as such is not attested in Jewish sources. The assumption that ... is supported by many apocopated examples in the bowl is patently wrong. The apocope of the final radical nun in the verb is rare and seems to be attested only for ...49

Morgenstern misquotes Müller- Kessler' s collated reading of BM 91776:10 as ... instead of the correct ...50

Despite the parallel in BM 91776: 10/1 . . . 'yl} 3yzlw hdrw51 H cbd[n3 cPbdynkw wH msdrn3] dsdrynkw52 zylw pylw53 lyh bslyh dlhm3 bhsbyh dmy3 bTh\sby]h dmTys\h3 w]l[ykwl Ihm3 wl . . .] wlysty my3 wlzyq wlyswp mysh3 wlykwb, the passage bytyk rhys 3ysqwptyk mrym3 3yl3tyk zydn3 represents three parts, which are parallel, noun plus suffix of the second feminine singular and attribute with the correct ending for the gender. The final ... is identical to that on ... There is no reason for the reading ... (sic!) (Morgenstern).54

The spelling ... would be most unusual and cannot be divided up or arranged as Morgenstern suggests, since it would have been simplified to ... on account of the weakening of the glottal stop in BTA. He is correct in his assumption that the aleph, which we deleted in ..., is the BTA preposition -X on account of the parallel texts with ...55

Line 11: We left the problematic verb ... untranslated in our edition, since it presented a number of difficulties. In DBJA, it is derived from a root hbn and given the tentative definition 'to be left over'. This is based on Syriac "shbn 'to cease', which actually has the meaning 'to be inactive, idle, negligent' in Syriac. Although the bowl passage is quoted by Sokoloff under the lemma ...,56 Morgenstern derives ... from the word ... with a proposed shift of HI > Ini in final position. This shift is common in BTA, however, in initial position and it cannot be automatically assumed that it is operative in final position. It is more cogent to accept a root \hbn as listed in the dictionaries of JBA and Syriac.57 Morgenstern assumes that the verb ... occurs in Moussaieff 11:18 too, although the context is broken ... The text variants (BM 91776, ZRL 48) use the root ...

The cited passage from the homilies of Aphrahat on 1 Timothy 4:4 by Morgenstern has no textual connection with the passage here. The authors do not see its relevance for the understanding of a magical text since it has a completely different contextual background.


The above presentation has pointed out a number of disturbing aspects of an academic publication. The gravity of this issue should not be underestimated. The re-editing of newly published texts must show enough improvement to justify a new edition. The correction of readings, a new insight, or proposal for a word is not sufficient grounds for such a new edition. Such contributions are usually written up as notes (Morgenstern' s publication despite the title cannot be considered as such). In cases such as the present one, where two recent and independently edited texts are available, there is obviously no need for a third edition that passes judgment on them. Beyond this and much more serious is carelessness which misrepresents not only the work of others but the respective colleague himself. In critiquing others it is advisable not to misquote, especially when it concerns one's own publication. In addition, the improper use of terms shows that basic grammatical concepts have not been mastered, contributing to a dissolution of established scholarly practice. Taken together these aspects undermine the foundation not only of a proper and fair discussion but academic work in general.

1. See, for example, C. Müller-Kessler, "Die Beschwörung gegen die Glaukom-Dämonin: Eine Neubearbeitung der aramäischen Zauberschale aus dem Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC. (MSF B25)," Welt des Orients 27 (2007): 78-89, esp. 79 (for bowl MSF B25:8 read WÏB instead of WW, 1. 10 OS instead of 132); C. MUller-Kesser, "More on Puzzling Words and Spellings in Aramaic Incantation Bowls and Related Texts," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 75 (2012): 1-30.

2. C. Müller-Kessler and ?. Kwasman, "A Unique Talmudic Aramaic Incantation Bowl," JAOS 120 (2000): 159-65. See also C. Müller-Kessler, "Die Zauberschalen des British Museum," Archiv ßr Orientforschung 48/49 (2001/2): 115-45, esp. 129, where only a few readings of the bowl are discussed. Morgenstern's statement "The same interpretation is reflected in Müller-Kessler' s review of Segal's volume" is a complete distortion; see M. Morgenstern, "Notes on a Recently Published Magic Bowl," Aramaic Studies 2 (2004): 207-22, esp. 207 n. 1.

3. J. B. Segal, Catalogue of the Aramaic and Mandaic Incantation Bowls in the British Museum (London, 2000).

4. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 207-22.

5. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 208.

6. Transliteration and translation as found in Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 209-11. Note that in Morgenstern' s translation of F' "eat" is missing after "How can":

Go eat from what I eat, ... F

and go drink from what I drink, ...

and go anoint from what I anoint. ...


How can we <. . .> from what you eat; ... F'

and drink from what you drink; ...

and anoint from what you anoint? ...


In his breadbasket ... F"

that he may eat from it and be sickened, ...

in his water barrel ...

that he may drink from it and be sickened, ...

in his trough/flask of oil ...

that he may anoint with it and be sickened. ...

7. This article has in the meantime appeared as M. Morgenstern, "On Some Non-Standard Spellings in the Aramaic Magic Bowls and Their Linguistic Significance," Journal of Semitic Studies 52 (2007): 245-77, but does not deal with this specific BM text except for the regular verb form KÏ1DK on p. 266.

8. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 210. See also M. Morgenstern, review of J. B. Segal, Catalogue, Israel Exploration Journal 55 (2005): 121-22, and "The Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Magic Bowl BM 91767 Reconsidered," Le Muséon 120 (2007): 5-27, esp. 8.

9. Transcription is clearly defined by the IPA: "The use of sequences of phonetic symbols to represent speech is known as transcription"; see Handbook of the International Phonetic Association (Cambridge, 1999), 3. See also The SBL Handbook of Style for Ancient Near Eastern Biblical, and Early Christian Studies (Peabody, Mass., 1 999), 25-31.

10. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 208, 210 n. 11. On p. 215 his phonetic suggestion Imidd3,üklänäl for KJ"?DKTO should not be presented in italics, since it is a transcription given between slashes / /.

11. See also in Morgenstern, "Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowl," 18 n. 61. More examples are "The decision to present the texts in Latin transcription is incomprehensible" in Morgenstern, review of J. B. Segal, Catalogue, 122; "It may be assumed that is a transcription error (or printing error) for Xtra" in Morgenstern, "Linguistic Notes on Magic Bowls in the Moussaieff Collection," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 68 (2005): 349-67, esp. 358.

12. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 210, and similarly, "Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowl," 8. There seems to be a vogue in the incorrect application of this particular grammatical term, for example: "On the one hand, the forms ?????, etc. are characteristic of Babylonian Aramaic, in which the participle is declined by person," in Y. Breuer, "Aramaic in Late Antiquity," in The Cambridge History of Judaism, vol. IV, éd. S. Katz (Cambridge, 2006), 479-80.

13. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 216, 218; review of J. B. Segal, Catalogue, 121.

14. Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 21 3 n. 20: "The elision of the final he of the 3rd masculine singular pronoun is quite widespread in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic"; or Morgenstern, "Linguistic Significance," 269: "Juusola has dealt at length with examples of the elision of the -ü morpheme in the 3 pi. perfect." This term is also employed incorrectly in Y. Kara, Babylonian Aramaic in the Yemenite Manuscripts of the Talmud [Hebrew] (Jerusalem, 1983), 75-76.

15. See Morgenstern, "Non-Standard Spellings," 251.

16. Morgenstern, "Non-Standard Spellings," 254 n. 41: "It is certainly distinct epigraphically from the other lameds in this bowl."

17. Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 210, can hardly claim that spaces in the words kyp ly 1. 3; msy ly 1. 4; my d'klt, m<y> dsty<t>, m<y> dsypt 1. 8; kyp Ik, mty Ik 1. 9 are our reading mistakes. This is a question of graphic convention. Mandaic tends to assimilate prepositions like l_, b_ to a verb, whereas the square script texts do not; therefore we opted for a non-ligature transliteration.

18. See Morgenstern, "Additional Notes," 203-4.

19. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 211.

20. See now C. Müller-Kessler, "Die aramäische Beschwörung und ihre Rezeption in den mandäisch-magischen Texten am Beispiel ausgewählter aramäischer Beschwörungsformulare," in Magie et magiciens, charmes et sortilèges, ed. R. Gyselen (Louvain, 2002), 193-208.

21. See Müller-Kessler, "Die aramäische Beschwörung und ihre Rezeption," 201-2.

22. M. J. Geller, "Tablets and Magic Bowls," in Officina Magica: Essays on the Practice of Magic in Antiquity, ed. S. Shaked (Leiden, 2005), 53-72, esp. 57 n. 13.

23. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 193b s.v. XDOTD; p. 184b s.v. nx"733. In the translation "I resemble the Borsippean GN" p. 193b, GN is a typographical error for DN = divine name (not GN = geographical name).

24. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 454.

25. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 700.

26. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 209.

27. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 213.

28. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 711a s.v....

29. See Sokoloff, DJBA 1071 2# ...

30. See J. C. Greenfield, M. Stone, and E. Eshel, The Aramaic Levi Document (Leiden, 2004), 246, and K. Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte vom Toten Meer (Göttingen, 1984), 694.

31. The latest attestations are Moussaieff 123:1, 132:2. fVVoo there is simply an absolute form of the noun ... and shows the ending ... instead if ... on account of analogy by preceding ...

32. G W. Nebe, "Zu den Bausteinen der deiktischen Pronomina in babylonisch-talmudischen Aramäischen," in Der Odem des Menschen ist eine Leuchte des Herrn: Aharon Agus zum Gedenken, ed. R. Reichman (Heidelberg 2006), 252-73, esp. 261. The other forms listed, ... and ... (AIT 25:2, 5, quoted by H. Juusola, Linguistic Peculiarities in the Aramaic Magic Bowl Texts [Helsinki, 1999], 33), are hardly plural demonstrative pronouns, but variants of ... 'El' and ... 'god'.

33. See Müller-Kessler, "Bguzan-Lilit," 187, 190.

34. See J. Naveh and S. Snaked, Magic Spells and Formulae: Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity (Jerusalem, 1993), 131. They also take it as unattested.

35. Published in S. Shaked, "'Peace be Upon You, Exalted Angels': On Hekhalot, Liturgy and Incantation Bowls," Jewish Studies Quarterly 2 (1995): 198-219, esp. 213.

36. See C. H. Gordon, "Aramaic and Magical Bowls," Archiv Orientalní 1 (1937): 84-95, esp. 86, pl. II.

37. See E. S. Drower and R. Macuch, A Mandaic Dictionary (Oxford, 1963), 362.

38. See Morgenstern, "Non-Standard Spellings," 257.

39. See Morgenstern, "Non-Standard Spellings," n. 58.

40. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 214.

41. This usage is attested in Geonic literature and Anan as well as Syriac; see J. N. Epstein, Grammar of Babylonian Aramaic (Jerusalem, 1960), 305; T. Nöldeke, Kurzgefaßte syrische Grammatik (Leipzig, 1898), §367; T. Nöldeke, Mandäische Grammatik (Halle, 1875), §309; Sokoloff, DJBA, 307b-308a 4. s.v. For Biblical Aramaic see L. Köhler and W. Baumgartner, Hebräisches und aramäisches Lexikon (Leiden, 1995), 1851 3b.

42. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 307b s.v. 4.; J. N. Epstein, "Notes on Post-Talmudic Aramaic Lexicography. ? Shaeltot," Jewish Quarterly Review 12 (1922): 229-390, esp. 305.

43. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 635.

44. In contrast to Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 214.

45. See Sokoloff, DJBA, 937.

46. See Morgenstern, "Additional Notes," 203-4.

47. See Müller-Kessler and Kwasman, "Talmudic Aramaic Incantation," 162.

48. Morgenstern, "Additional Notes," 203, asserts "a greased dish for an oven," not "a tray for flour."

49. See Y. Kara, Babylonian Aramaic in the Yemenite Manuscripts of the Talmud (Jerusalem, 1983), 89 [Hebrew].

50. See Morgenstern, "Additional Notes," 216.

51. See Müller-Kessler, "Zauberschalen des British Museum," 129. 7G? is Hebrew and not Aramaic. Therefore we did not comment on it.

52. Müller-Kessler does not read ... in BM 91776:10, but wnWT.

53. Müller-Kessler does not read ..., but the text indeed has the conjunction 1.

54. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 209.

55. See Morgenstern, "Recently Published Magic Bowl," 208.

56. See Sokoloff, DJB A, 427b.

57. See Sokoloff, DJB A, 427b; R. Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus (Oxford, 1879), 1181.

Author affiliation:

Theodore Kwasman

Universität zu Köln


Christa Müller-Kessler

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

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