Shaul Shaked, born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1933. Ph.D. from the University of London. Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Fellow (1 September 1994 – 30 June 1995)
During the year at NIAS I worked on new and unpublished Aramaic, Syriac and Mandaic incantations texts that are found in a number of important private collections. These texts have yielded some interesting discoveries. The connections between Jewish magic of late antiquity and the mystical-theurgical literature known as Hekhalot is becoming clearer; the use of the text of the Mishna in magical contexts has received dramatic illustration by the discovery, for the first time, of a whole passage from the Mishna in an incantation text. This could be the oldest handwritten copy of a Mishnaic text known to exist. The systematic publication of Jewish magic texts from the Cairo Geniza, in collaboration with Professor Peter Schäfer and a group of young scholars in Berlin, has continued in the course of this year.