Jesus Christ before me, Iao Sabaoth Adonai behind me: A Prayer for Good Luck and Protection

Guest post by Ágnes Mihálykó (read her bio here). What would you ask from God in a morning prayer? Success for your business? No fights with your husband/wife/children/boss? Or, quite simply having God in front of you, behind you, by your left and by your right, to guide you and protect you throughout the day?A … More Jesus Christ before me, Iao Sabaoth Adonai behind me: A Prayer for Good Luck and Protection

A Brief Account of Marriage

Marriage in Egyptian villages was a pretty informal affair. Few legal documents were written concerning marriage, and few texts discuss particulars – unless something goes wrong. The most important aspect of marriage was cohabitation. Early periods of Egyptian history refer to the entering and leaving of houses, while Coptic texts typically refer to spouses ‘sitting’ together. … More A Brief Account of Marriage

Warm Hoopoe’s Blood for the Eyes: A Coptic Remedy

Ever suffered from dry eyes? A late Coptic medical text may have the cure for you! Written on a small piece of parchment, probably in the 11th century CE, the remedy requires just two ingredients: the warm blood of a hoopoe and cardamom. “For eyes starting to cry salt: heated hoopoe’s blood and a herb … More Warm Hoopoe’s Blood for the Eyes: A Coptic Remedy

Protecting the Tax-Payer, Protecting the Tax Man

On 17 April 731, an Egyptian priest John son of the late Victor wrote a declaration for the state treasury, represented by the Muslim official Rashid. He had paid two gold coins (holokottinosin the document) for his village’s taxes, representing the headman, Peter. However, it turned out that he – and so his village – had paid … More Protecting the Tax-Payer, Protecting the Tax Man

Sickness, Treatments, and Medical Books in Late Antique Egyptian Villages

“I greet my Father Athanasios. I spoke to you about the medical book. I often wanted to come south, but looking after here has not allowed me to come south. I wanted to come south, (but) the roads prevented me. Now, please send it to me, either (by) Pmoute or give it to Aaron and … More Sickness, Treatments, and Medical Books in Late Antique Egyptian Villages