Public lecture on Jewish Magic

The Lorentz Center and Rijksmuseum van Oudheden organize on February 23 the public lecture 'Jewish Magic from Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century'.

Professor Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv University) offers a brief overview of the Jewish magical tradition, from antiquity to today. Throughout the presentation, he will examine both texts and images documenting the Jewish magical tradition in its different manifestations.


Date: Thursday 23 February 2023,17:00 – 18:00
Location: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Entrance is free


You can register on the website of Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.


Jewish Magic
The lecture opens with a short discussion of the biblical prohibitions against magic and divination, and the biblical stories about magicians and diviners. Next, it covers the major stages in the development of Jewish magic, from the little evidence we have of Jewish magic in the First Temple period, to the more abundant evidence of Jewish magic in the Second Temple period, and the explosion of the evidence for Jewish magic in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Modern world.


About the speaker
Professor Gideon Bohak holds the Jacob M. Alkow Chair for the History of the Jews in the Ancient World at Tel Aviv University. His main field of research is the history of Jewish magic. His most recent books include A Fifteenth-Century Manuscript of Jewish Magic, Los Angeles, 2014 (in Hebrew), Magie, anges et démons dans la tradition juive, Paris, 2015 (with Anne Hélène Hoog), and Thà„bit ibn Qurra On Talismans and Pseudo-Ptolemy On Images 1-9, Florence, 2021 (with Charles Burnett). His many articles are devoted to the publication and analysis of new texts, and to programmatic discussions of Jewish magic and Jewish history.

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