Cornell University

During the spring semester, in-person concerts, events and lectures that involve outside guests will not be held, per the university’s COVID-19 travel and visitor policy.

Jewish Religion in "Talmudic" Babylonia: The Evidence of the Aramaic Incantation Bowls

Monday, March 1, 2021 at 12:25pm to 1:25pm

Virtual Event

The Babylonian Talmud is the principal surviving literary source for the Jewish communities in the Sasanian empire. As a result, scholarship has primarily focused on the rabbinic elite represented in and responsible for the Talmud. However, hundreds of Jewish magical amulets written on bowls provide access to the unknown lives and practices of Jews in the very cities in which the Babylonian rabbis flourished. Since their discovery, the magic bowls have largely been relegated to the domain of a “popular” and “syncretistic” culture.

In her talk Avigail Manekin-Bamberger, Postdoctoral Fellow at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will argue that the dichotomy between the world of the rabbis and that of the bowls is artificial and ultimately untenable. Furthermore, the bowls provide a rare vantage point from which to enrich our knowledge of both rabbinic law and practice, ancient Jewish society, and the place of the rabbis within it.

Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program with support from the Religious Studies Program and Department of Near Eastern Studies.

FREE registration is required.

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Event Type

Lecture, Webinar


Near Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies Program, College of Arts & Sciences


nescal, jwstcal, cascal, cashum, middleeasterncal, relstcal

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Avigail Manekin-Bamberger

Speaker Affiliation

Postdoctoral Fellow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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