Lecture: Rivka Elitzur-Leiman, "Magic and the Ordinary People: Amulets as a Source for Social History of Jews in Late Antiquity"

Apr 28, 2022, 12:00 pm12:00 pm
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103


Event Description

The metal Aramaic amulets from Late Antique Palestine, a trove of Jewish texts, have to date only been partially published. As such, they potentially hold many new discoveries for a number of fields, including ancient Jewish magic, Palestinian Aramaic language, ancient medicine, and more. In this presentation, I will demonstrate how amulets can serve as a source for the study of social history. I will argue that the amulets shed light on various aspects such as social anxieties within a community and inter-religious relationships, and can help retrieve women's voices.

Rivka Elitzur-Leiman is a postdoctoral affiliate at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, and a research fellow of the ERC project “Licit and Illicit Ritual in Jewish and Christian Magical Traditions”, at Università Ca' Foscari Venezia. Rivka wrote her PhD thesis at Tel Aviv University, on Jewish amulets from Late Antique Palestine. Her current project is focused on ancient Jewish magical texts as a source for social history.

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Fayum_Portrait_of_a_Boy, Wikimedia

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies