Tzvi Abusch, born in New York City, New York, USA, in 1940. Ph.D. from Harvard University, Cambridge. Rose B. and Joseph Cohen Professor of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Religion at Brandeis University, Waltham.
Fellow (1 September 1994 – 30 June 1995)
It is a pleasure to report on my activities during the academic year 1994/1995. But as co ordinator of the research theme group “Magic and Religion in the Ancient Near East”, I should begin by reporting that the group functioned in a highly successful manner and contributed significantly to the creative work of all its members. The weekly seminars and the international conference at the end of the year were notable intellectual and scholarly experiences and events. During the year, I continued my work on Mesopotamian witchcraft beliefs and on the corpus of magical and medical texts that treat witchcraft. More specifically, progress has been registered in the composition of the catalogue of the witchcraft corpus; in the preparation of critical editions of the texts that comprise the corpus (especially the nine-tablet series Maqlû, the longest and most important Mesopotamian text concerned with combatting witchcraft); and in the writing of studies of an analytic and synthetic nature. Actually, of all the results of my work this year on diverse aspects of Mesopotamian religion, magic, and witchcraft, I personally would single out the essays of interpretation that I have written during my stay at NIAS. They examine Mesopotamian religion and culture from several points of view and investigate the relationship of witchcraft beliefs to different areas of thought.