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Professor Hollmann's curse tablet goes viral

Submitted by Alain M Gowing on May 21, 2012 - 3:04pm

Professor Alex Hollmann recently published an edition, translation, and commentary of a curse tablet in Greek found in a disused well in late-antique Antioch. The curse is directed against a greengrocer named Babylas and calls on the god Iao (the Greek transliteration of the Old Testament god Yahweh) to bind and destroy the greengrocer "just as you struck the chariot of Pharaoh", a clear reference to the episode described in the Book of Exodus. Professor Hollmann was surprised and delighted to find a Canadian science journalist, Owen Jarus, wanted to write a piece about the tablet and his research. Initially published on the site Live Science (click here), the article was then picked up by CBS News and has since gone viral, appearing in the New York TImes (click here), the British tabloid The Daily Mail, and in translation on numerous Polish, Russian, Italian, Danish, Spanish, and Greek websites, as well as in Archaeology Magazine.

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