Ancient Magician's Curse Tablet of Jerusalem

In October 2013, team of archaeologists in Jerusalem discovered a 1,700 years old ancient tablet with a violent curse inscribed upon it which is thought to have been created by a magician. The lead curse tablet along with pieces of mosaic and fragments of frescoes as well as a decorated box full of carved bone pieces has been found in a collapsed Roman mansion in the Givati Parking Lot , also known as the "City of David" which was in use between the late third century and A.D. 363. The curse tablet is written in Greek. After the team successfully translated it, it's revealed that a woman named Kyrilla cast a curse on a man named Iennys by asking help from six gods, apparently over a legal case.

A 1,700-year-old ancient tablet
with a violent curse inscribed upon it
Translation of the Curse:

"Come to me, you who are in the earth, chthonic daemon, you who rule and bind, Abrasax; come,

Hecate, three-form queen, Ereschigal; come to me, king Pluto, by your great name Yesemmigadon;

come to me, chthonic Earth and chthonic Hermes and Pluto and queen Persephone. I strike and

strike down and nail down the tongue, the eyes, the wrath, the ire, the anger, the procrastination,

the opposition of Iennys, whom the womb bore, so that he in no way oppose, so that he say or

perform nothing adverse to Kyrilla, whom the womb bore, but rather that Iennys, whom the womb

bore, be subject to her. Lady Phersephoneia, fulfill this perfect spell. (magical signs and letters)"

According to Robert Walter Daniel from the Institut für Altertumskunde at the University of Cologne: Four of the Gods are Greek (Hecate, Hermes, Pluto and Persephone), one is Babylonian (Ereschigal) and one is Gnostic (Abrasax). Additionally, the text contains magic words such as "Iaoth" that have a Hebrew/Judaism origin. And the curse probably was created by a professional magician for Kyrilla, who may have literally used a hammer and nails to perform a magical rite that enhanced the effectiveness of the curse.

The archaeologists believe both Iennys and Kyrilla were probably members of the Roman middle or upper class at war with each other over a legal matter, as the curse bears some resemblance to other tablets discovered in Cyprus that were also used in legal cases.

The curse tablet itself was excavated in the northwest part of the mansion. While the second-floor room where the tablet was originally placed has collapsed, the artifacts excavated near the tablet provide hints about what the room may have looked like when in use.

The researchers do not know the purpose of this second-floor room. However, Iennys appears to have been connected to it to such a degree that the curse tablet was placed there intentionally. Daniel said, "Since the curse is directed against Iennys it might have been hidden in or close to a place that he frequented," Perhaps lennys lived or worked in the mansion or a courtroom was located near the second floor room.


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