1,300-year-old book of Egyptian magic deciphered

November 23, 2014 5:59 PM

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Researchers have decoded an ancient Egyptian book of spells they are calling an “Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power.” It contains incantations for everything from attaining success in a business venture, to love spells, to curing disease. The 20 page illustrated codex is thought to date from the 7th or 8th century, some 1,300 years ago, which seems to have been a pivotal time for the history of mysticism in that area of the world.

The codex is written in Coptic and comes from a time before the rise of Islam in the Middle East. Most Egyptians at the time were some flavor of Christian, though the belief systems were much more muddled than they are today. The spells, some of which have to do with banishing evil spirits, make rep...

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