Joseph Emanuel Sanzo

Scriptural Incipits on Amulets from Late Antique Egypt

Text, Typology, and Theory

[Incipits der heiligen Schrift auf Amuletten aus dem spätantiken Ägypten. Texte, Typologie und Theorie.]

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sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-152965-8
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Published in English.
Joseph E. Sanzo analyzes the use of the opening lines (incipits) of the Gospels, Psalms, and other biblical texts on amulets from late antique Egypt. The author collects and edits these incipits and proposes a theory of their ritual functions.
The use of biblical and parabiblical texts on amulets and other apotropaic objects was ubiquitous in late antique Egypt. Among the passages most frequently cited were the opening lines (incipits) of the Gospels, the Psalms, and other scriptural texts. Scholars have repeatedly observed the apotropaic use of such incipits, but have yet to subject them to thorough and focused analysis. In the present volume, Joseph E. Sanzo addresses this scholarly need by offering the first sustained study of the scriptural incipits on Greek and Coptic amulets and other apotropaic objects from late antique Egypt. In addition to providing a catalog and edition of these texts, the author draws on insights from cognitive linguistics, ritual studies, and the history of the book to establish a typology of the incipits and to determine their ritual functions.

Joseph Emanuel Sanzo Born 1980; 2012 PhD in History, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Christianity, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


The following reviews are known:

In: Gnosis — 1 (2016), S. 335–337 (Blake A. Jurgens)
In: ProtoView — (08/2015)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 59 (2015), S. 399
In: Bibliotheca Orientalis (Bior) — 72 (2015), S. 676–677 (Hermann Harrauer)
In: The Expository Times — 126 (2015), S. 514 (Thomas J. Kraus)
In: Journal for the Study of the New Testament (JSNT) — 37.5 (2015), S. 120–121 (Kimberley Fowler)
In: Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists — 53 (2016), S. 443–445 (Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin)