Geoffrey Smith, assistant professor of Religion at University of Texas, Austin, has written out simple instructions for creating magical papyri in the classroom. As he explains:
"I routinely teach an undergraduate seminar on Angels, Demons, and Magic in Early Christianity. To give students a feel for the materiality of ancient magic, I decided this year to walk them through the process of making a magical papyrus using materials similar to those used in antiquity. Everything you will need is readily available online, unless you choose to follow a more elaborate ink recipe, such as the one found in PGM VIII that calls for the sap of a mulberry tree, juice of a single stemmed wormwood, and the blood of a crow."
Geoffrey Smith's magical papyri instructions
- Click here for instruction page
Readings to accompany activity
- Meyer, Marvin W.. Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power. Spain, Princeton University Press, 1999.
- “The Making of Ancient Books,” chapter 1 in Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2005.