Jacco Dieleman

Egyptology, Los Angeles
Fellowship: 01.10.2014–30.09.2015


Jacco Dieleman is Associate Professor of Egyptology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his training in Egyptology and Comparative Literature at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the University of Würzburg in Germany. He received his PhD from the University of Leiden in 2003 on a dissertation on the nature and function of bilingualism and translation in two related magic handbooks from Roman Egypt. He has been teaching Egyptology at UCLA since 2003. He was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World of New York University during the academic year 2010-11.


Fields of Research

  • Egyptology
  • Papyrology
  • Study of religion, sociolinguistics, comparative literature


Project outline

Personalized ritual papyri as material figurations of the singular and the typical in ancient Egypt


The aim of this research project is to study how standard (typical) temple rituals performed in the cult of Osiris, god of the dead, could be personalized for private consumption (singular) in ancient Egypt. The study will focus on one particular figuration of this process: the so-called »Artemis Liturgical Papyrus.« This manuscript dates to the late Ptolemaic or early Roman period and preserves a unique collection of temple rituals adapted and inscribed for the burial of a private female named »Artemis, daughter of Herais« (these Greek names are written in Egyptian characters throughout the manuscript). The manuscript is particularly well suited to study the tension between the exemplary/typical and the singular, because it concerns a shift in ontology (from god to human), gender (from male deity to woman), ethnicity (from Egyptian to Greek), and institutional (from state temple to private life). Although the manuscript cannot be considered an autobiography in the regular sense of the word, it does represent a culture’s attempt to capture an individual’s life through death.


Publications (Selection)

  • The Artemis Liturgical Papyrus. In: Joachim Friedrich Quack (ed.), Ägyptische Rituale der griechisch-römischen Zeit. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 6 (Mohr Siebeck: Tübingen 2014), 171-83.
  • De Egyptische Alexanderroman. In: Diederik Burgersdijk, Wouter Henkelman, WillemijnWaal (eds.),Alexander en Darius. De Macedoniër in de Spiegel van het Nabije Oosten (Uitgeverij Verloren: Hilversum 2013), 167-82.
  • Coping with a Difficult Life. Magic, Healing, and Sacred Knowledge. In: Christian Riggs(ed.),The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt (Oxford University Press; Oxford 2012), 337-61.
  • Teaching Ancient Egyptian Literature. In: Alexandra Verbovsek, Burkhard Backes, Catherine Jones (eds.), Methodik und Didaktik in der Ägyptologie. Herausforderungen eines kulturwissenschaftlichen Paradigmenwechsels in den Altertumswissenschaften (Ägyptologie und Kulturwissenschaft IV; Wilhelm Fink Verlag: Munich 2011), 125-32.
  • Scribal Practices in the Production of Magic Handbooks in Egypt. In: Shaul Shaked, Yuval Harari, Gideon Bohak (eds.), Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition (Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture 15; Brill Academic Publishers; Leiden 2011) 85-117.
  • Egyptian Literature in the Hellenistic and Roman Period. In: James Clauss and Martine Cuypers (eds.), A Companion to Hellenistic Literature (Blackwell Companions to Ancient Literature and Culture; Oxford 2010) 429-47.
  • What’s in a sign? Translating Filiation in the Demotic Magical Papyri. In: Arietta Papaconstantinou (ed.), The Multilingual Experience in Egypt from the Ptolemies to the ‘Abbāsids (Ashgate; Surrey 2010) 127-52.
  • Cryptography at the Monastery of Deir el-Bachit. In: Hermann Knuf, Christian Leitz, Daniel von Recklinghausen (eds.),Honi soit qui mal y pense. Studien zum pharaonischen, griechisch-römischen und spätantiken Ägypten zu Ehren von Heinz-Josef Thissen (OLA 194; Peeters Publishers; Leuven 2010), 511-17.
  • De Wereld in Evenwicht. Goden en Mensen in het Oude Egypte (Amsterdam University Press; Amsterdam 2006).
  • Priests, Tongues, and Rites. The London-Leiden Magical Manuscripts and Translation in Egyptian Ritual (100-300 CE) (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World - RGRW 153; Brill Academic Publishers; Leiden 2005).