A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power

A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power represents the first volume in a new series titled The Macquarie Papyri, representing the papyri in Macquarie University’s Museum of Ancient Cultures. The present volume reproduces a complete First Millenium 20-page codex, including a mixed Christian/Gnostic invocation, ritual instructions, and a list of 27 spells to cure everything from demonic possession to various ailments, and to succeed in ventures from love to business. This publication represents a substantial addition to the existing corpus of Egyptian magical texts, and also provides evidence for the presence of Sethian Gnostic thought in Coptic texts.  The publisher’s website (http://www.brepols.net/pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503531700-1) lists the contents as follows:

Table of Contents


List of Figures and Plates


  1. The Codex: Codicology – Palaeography, Date, and Provenance – Dialect and Orthography
  2. The Contents of the Handbook: The Invocations Text – The Three Versions of the Invocations Text – The Invocations Text, Sethianism, and the Practice of Ritual Power – The List of Prescriptions – Conspectus of Prescriptions

Text and Translation

  1. Coptic Text and Facing Translation
  2. Continuous Translation




  1. P. Lond. Copt. I 1008 (BL MS Or. 5987) (L)
  2. P. Berl. Inv. 5527 (B)



  1. Words of Egyptian Origin
  2. Words of Greek Origin
  3. Proper Names and Words of Power
  4. Symbols and Abbreviations


Richard Kaczynski

Richard Kaczynski is the author of the biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2002; rev exp ed 2010), the history Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), the novel The Billionth Monkey (2015), Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City (2019), along with a bunch of other books, articles, and chapters that you can read about at his website, www.richard-kaczynski.com.

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