Gabriele Ferrario of the Genizah Research Unit reveals a secret side to life in medieval Cairo: one governed by alchemy and magic.

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.

15 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Jun 2014 22:45

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