For centuries, the ancient Egyptians used spells to banish evil spirits, find success in love and work and gain power.
And now a collection of these spells and invocations, dating back 1,300 years, have been deciphered for the first time from an ancient handbook.
Written in the now extinct language, Coptic, the codex contains a mixture of references from Orthodox Christianity and Sethianism.
There are references made to Jesus, but also an entry called ‘Seth, the living Christ.’
Sethians were a Christian Gnostic sect who were found throughout the Mediterranean at the time the codex was written.
They are said to have idolised Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve.
The name Bakiotha is also mentioned in the text, referred to as the ‘lord over the forty and nine kinds of serpents’ and was a name used to invoke Christ.
One spell is an appeal to Christ and reads: ‘I invoke you today, Bakiotha, great trustworthy one from above, who is trustworthy over the ninth generation of things.
‘Reach out and listen to us today.
COPTIC LANGUAGE AND THE ORIGIN OF THE CODEX
Coptic was a language spoken in Egypt from the 2nd century until around the 17th.
It derived from a mixture of Greek and seven Demotic signs,
The language originated in the upper parts of Egypt, and the Bohairic dialect from the lower parts of the country
The language is also closely linked to Heiroglyphic scripts.
The translations were made by Macquarie professors Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner.
They are published in their book A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power.
The researchers believe the dialect suggests the codex comes from the region of the ancient city Hermopolis.
Hermopolis was located near a small village called El-ashmunein, modern-day Al Ashmunin, which was the capital of the Fifteenth Nome – or laws – of Upper Egypt at the time.
It is six miles north of Mallawi on the west bank of the River Nile.