An invocation of Chrestos in Magic. The question of the orthographical spelling of Chrestos and interpretation issues in PGM XIII.288-95


Abstract


This paper examines the orthographical spelling of Chrestos and related interpretative issues in the text 'Releasing from bonds' (XIII.288-95), which is a short spell contained in the PGM XIII originated in Greco-Roman Egypt and dated from the third to the fourth century C.E.1 In the paradosis of the papyrus we have XpT1GTÓç, but the Editor changes it to ó XpioTÓç with Y instead of 'r|' Questions to be addressed are: Does the orthographical spelling of Chrestos with Y or 'īļ' have a particular significance, or it is a matter of indifference? How should we methodologically approach the problem? What kind of influences does the description of Chrestos in the text imply? How could parallelisms with the comparative material help us identify influences from other texts? How is the description of Chrestos integrated into the context of the Greek magical papyri? Is it related to the invocations of biaiothanatoi in magic? I shall also pay special attention to issues of religious syncretism from Judaism, Christianity, Greek and Egyptian religion, Hermetism, Gnosticism and Manichaeism.

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