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Dickens M., Smelova N. A Rediscovered Syriac Amulet from Turfan in the Collection of the Hermitage Museum // Written Monuments of the Orient. Vol. 7, No. 2(14), 2021. P. 107–147.


Item ВДсэ-524 in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is an amulet scroll written in Syriac which was discovered by the Second German Turfan Expedition (1904–1905) and kept afterwards in the Museum of Ethnology (Museum für Völkerkunde) in Berlin. The artifact originates in the Turkic-speaking Christian milieu of the Turfan Oasis, probably from the Mongol period. The text, however, reflects a long tradition of magical literature that goes back to ancient Mesopotamia and can be categorised as a piece of apotropaic (protective) magic. The article contains an edition of the Syriac text with translation and a discussion of its place of discovery, its overall composition and specific words and expressions found in the text. The authors point out likely connections between the Hermitage amulet and the Turfan fragments SyrHT 274–276 kept in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin — Preußischer Kulturbesitz and briefly discuss its similarity with amulet H彩101 discovered in Qara Qoto by the 1983–1984 expedition of the Institute of Cultural Relics, Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences.

To WMO, vol. 7, No. 2(14) 2021...

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Keywords


amulets
Church of the East
folk religion
German Turfan Expeditions
Old Uyghur manuscripts
protective magic
the State Hermitage Museum
Syriac scrolls

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