Magic Bowls at #AARSBL15 in Atlanta

For those interested in Judaism, Mandaeism, Late Antiquity, ancient magic, Aramaic, and any number of other topics, there are two sessions at AAR this year that you ought not to miss. One is the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity session, about which I’ll include details further below. But the other is a session which will [Read More...]

A Neo-Mandaic Story

Steve Caruso drew attention to a video that Charles Häberl has made of a Neo-Mandaic folk tale, narrated by Nasser Abu Issa Sobbi. If you are interested in the Mandaeans, the Middle East, or modern spoken Aramaic, you should definitely watch this video. [Read more...]

First Mandaean on Pluto

Jim Davila noticed before I did that Charles Häberl‘s social media campaign to get part of Pluto named after Krun – the Mandaean lord of the underworld – was successful. The designation of one of Pluto’s recently-revealed land features with the name Krun marks the first time that a celestial body has been given a Mandaean name [Read More...]

The Very Model of a Biblical Philologist

Josh Tyra made this delightful video. David Lamb and Darrell Pursiful brought it to my attention. It is a parody of a famous Gilbert and Sullivan song. Mandaic gets a mention! [Read more...]

Lexidion Codicis Nasaraei

I had the privilege of visiting the rare books room at Christian Theological Seminary yesterday. One item that caught my eye is the one I took a photo of above, Matthias Norberg’s Lexidion Codicis Nasaraei. It is a dictionary of the words in the Ginza Rba (Great Treasure), the principal sacred text of the Mandaeans. [Read More...]

Betascript Publishing

Sometimes when I’m on eBay, I’ll type in a word related to my research interests, to see what’s there. When I typed in “Mandaean” today, I saw a book that I had never seen before, on the Mandaic Language, selling for $68.93, published by Betascript Publishing. A quick glance at the cover had this self-contradictory [Read More...]

Translating Names

Charles Häberl has blogged about an issue that translators regularly face, and which we must deal with as we work towards the final version of our translation of the Mandaean Book of John (or as it might perhaps better be called, The Doctrine of John or The Teaching of John). How are names best translated? When [Read More...]

Unpublished Mandaean Texts

Marek Vinklat has shared a book chapter of his on, “Forgotten Mandaic Magic Texts in the British Museum.” The chapter begins by noting that there are numerous neglected, misidentified, and otherwise unknown Mandaic texts in various museums and libraries, and then goes on to offer a study of one of them.   [Read more...]

Mandaean Resources Online

Brian Mubaraki, whose photos of a Mandi in Australia and of Mandaean handicrafts I shared earlier in the summer, has provided me with a number of Mandaean digital resources, in order that I might provide an online home for them. Mandaean Diwans Diwan Alma Rishaia Zuta Diwan Dmuth Kushta Diwan Haran Gauaitha Diwan Malkutha laitha [Read More...]

Durch Dein Wort ward jegliches Ding!

The proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Mandaic and Samaritan Studies, held in Berlin in 2008, has appeared in print, published by Harrassowitz Verlag. The title is »Durch Dein Wort ward jegliches Ding!« You can read the table of contents online in pdf format. A prepublication draft of Charles Häberl’s chapter on a Mandaean folktale can [Read More...]

Mandaeism in Antiquity and the Antiquity of Mandaeism

Charles Häberl has shared an entry he wrote for Religion Compass, “Mandaeism in Antiquity and the Antiquity of Mandaeism,” on If you are interested in the Mandaeans, then not only this new upload, but many other things he has shared, will be of interest to you.   [Read more...]