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Alchemy and Magic

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 31 May 2013

Gabriele Ferrario of the Genizah Research Unit reveals the most secretive side of the Genizah collection: the manuscripts relating to alchemy and magic.

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley.

First broadcast in May 2013.

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