A Gospel Amulet for Joannia (P.Oxy. VIII 1151)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


This chapter's careful study of a healing amulet from fifth-century Oxyrynchus, Egypt, upends common assumptions about women and magic, and recapitulates in a single example much of what the other studies in this collection find. By reconstructing the social and historical context of this amulet, it illuminates not only the personal difficulties of a single female patient, but more significantly, the likely role of the clergy in the production of this and similar amulets. The chapter's close analysis of the amulet's use of scribal practices such as nomina sacra, invocation of local saints, and resemblance to Christian liturgy, indicates that it was most likely produced by clergy at a local shrine. The orthopraxy of the amulet suggests that the owner found nothing incongruent with it and her Christian beliefs, despite the rancorous censorship of amulets by certain bishops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDaughters of Hecate
Subtitle of host publicationWomen and Magic in the Ancient World
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199387748
ISBN (Print)9780195342703
StatePublished - Oct 23 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Amulet
  • Clergy
  • Nomina sacra
  • Orthopraxy
  • Oxyrynchus
  • Scribal practices


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