The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

The prayer for expelling Satan scroll

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: One of five healing scrolls from Magdala. Part of a wider collection that includes 11 other scrolls that might also be from the same source

Where: The Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE

Details in: Catalogue of Ethiopian manuscripts of the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine in London / [compiled] by Stefan Strelcyn, published in 1972

“As far as one can tell from the notes preserved in the registers of the Library, the provenance of these scrolls is heterogeneous. As one might expect, some of them certainly come from Magdala, brought back by members of Lord Napier’s expedition in 1867-8 (Nos. I, VII, VIII, XII, XIV). This is probably also true for No. XIII and perhaps for a few others as well. All these MSS were acquired by the Library between 1913 and 1930.”

Catalogue entry:
Nineteenth century. Vellum. 2,180 mm. X 75 mm. Scroll composed of four strips. Large, fluent, and rather careful handwriting. Black and red ink.
No. 88612.

  1. John i, 1-5. Prayer against devils, barya, and magicians
  2. Prayer for expelling devils, ahaza sabd\ and magical action
  3. Prayer for expelling Satan, barya, legewon, togrida, sotolay, chest pain, colic, ‘aynat, migraine, and different kinds of demons
  4. Prayer against legewon by the virtue of the names of the nails of the Cross.
  5. Prayer against chest pain.
  6. Prayer against colic.
  7. Mark i, 23-6. Prayer against devils.
  8. Prayer for undoing charms, mdftdhe foray.
  9. Prayer against blacksmiths.

Three coloured magical pictures.
The owner was Nasara Ab.
Taken at Magdala in 1868. Bought in 1924.

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