A lead curse tablet, dating back around 1,700 years and likely written by a magician, has been discovered in a collapsed Roman mansion in Jerusalem, archaeologists report.
The text is written in Greek and, in it a woman named Kyrilla invokes the names of six gods to cast a curse on a man named Iennys, apparently over a legal case.
“I strike and strike down and nail down the tongue, the eyes, the wrath, the ire, the anger, the procrastination, the opposition of Iennys,” part of the curse reads in translation. Kyrilla asks the gods to ensure that “he in no way oppose, so that he say or perform nothing adverse to Kyrilla … but rather that Iennys, whom the womb bore, be subject to her…”
A professional magician likely created the curse for Kyrilla, who may have literally used a hammer and nails to perform a magical rite that enhanced the effectiveness of the curse, Daniel said.
“The hammering and nailing is a form of gaining control over the person(s) targeted in magical texts,” he wrote in the email.
Not clear what to make of this. Have other similar pieces been found before? What does it say about the culture? What do they mean by “magician” here. It sounds more like a shaman or witch. Your thoughts welcome.