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Authoritative Traditions and Ritual Power in the Ancient World

The aim of this colloquium is to explore how authoritative texts, culture heroes, and authors were invoked ritually for cursing, protection, and divination in the ancient and late antique Near Eastern and Mediterranean world. The speakers represent a wide range of specializations in ancient ritual practice, including Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian materials.

Monday, October 22, 2012
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
306 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095


8:30–8:35am: Welcome by Ra‘anan Boustan (UCLA) and Jacco Dieleman (UCLA)
8:35–8:45am: Joseph E. Sanzo (UCLA), “Introductory Remarks: Authoritative Traditions and Ritual Power in the Ancient World”
Session One
8:45–9:30am: Jacco Dieleman (UCLA), “Cultural Memory and Claims to Authority in Ancient Egyptian Magic”
9:30–10:15am: Jeremy D. Smoak (UCLA), “Yhwh’s Shining Face and the Ritual Logic of the Iron Age Judean Amulets from Ketef Hinnom”
10:15–10:30am: Coffee Break
Session Two
10:30–11:15am: Michael Swartz (The Ohio State University), “Past and Future in Jewish Divination Traditions”
11:15am–12:00pm: Ra‘anan Boustan (UCLA) and Michael Beshay (UCLA): “Biblical Kingship, Imperial Ideology, and Ritual Power in The Testament of Solomon”
12:00pm–1:30pm: Lunch Break
Session Three
1:30–2:15pm: Joseph E. Sanzo (UCLA), “Beyond the Label: A New Approach to the Relationship Between ‘Christian’ Traditions and Ritual Power in Late Antiquity”
2:15–3:00pm: Theodore de Bruyn (University of Ottawa, Canada): “Genre, Tradition, Ritual, Culture, and Social Location: The Case of the Charitesion”
3:00–3:45pm: Jacques van der Vliet (Leiden University, the Netherlands), “Courting the Angels: Celestial Liturgy in Late-Antique Egyptian Magic”
3:45–4:00pm: Coffee Break
Session Four
4:00–4:45pm: Sarah Iles Johnston (The Ohio State University), “Myth as an Authoritative Discourse in Magic”
4:45–5:30pm: David Frankfurter (Boston University), “The Great, The Little, and the Authoritative Tradition in Magic of the Ancient World”

Cost : RSVP requested, please contact: Joseph E. Sanzo,

(310) 825-1181

Sponsor(s): , Classics, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Center for Jewish Studies, Center for the Study of Religion

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