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Todd E. Klutz

The Testament of Solomon^ like many other pseudepigraphal works,'

seldom attracts the kind of scholarly attention that is almost continuously
devoted to books of the Jewish and Christian canons. In the last 15 years,
for instance, while the Testament has been mentioned in a variety of
scholarly treatments of other topics,^ only one substantial study—that
produced by D.C. Duling for the Anchor Bible Dictionary—has been pub-
lished specifically on the Testament itself.' In recent scholarship on this
document, therefore, a disconcerting pattern can be identified: although the
Testament ofSolomon is increasingly being cited in comparative studies of
other ancient texts/ the Testament itself continues to be deprived of the
sort of careftil analysis which the best varieties of comparative study nec-
essarily involve. This incongruity constitutes much of the rationale for the
present study; but almost as importantly, it also suggests that one of the
most appropriate ways to begin the present analysis is to summarize at
least briefly the contents of this still relatively obscure text.
In order to prevent the complexities of the Testament^s textual identity
from causing disheartening confusion at the outset, I wish to begin with
a simplification which, though it will need to be problematized in the

1. See. e.g.. the collection in DTP.

2. See, e.g., T. Barton, Ancient Astrology (Sciences in Antiquity: London:
Rouilcdgc, 1994). p. 69; S. Garrett. The Demise of the Devil: Magic and the Demonic
in Luke's Writings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 1989). p. 8; and M.E. Mills. Human
Agents of Cosmic Power in Hellenistic Judaism and the Synoptic Tradition (JSNTSup,
41; Sheffield: JSOT Press. 1990). pp. 55-61.
3. D.C. Duling. 'Solomon. Testament of \ in ABD, VI, pp. 117-19.
4. Growing awareness of the Testament can be attributed largely to the English
translation and informative introduction provided by D.C. Duling, 'Testament of Solo-
mon', in DTP, I. pp. 935-87.

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220 Magic in the Biblical World

ensuing discussion, is not without expository ulihty. The simplilying meas-

ure in question is to summarize only one of the Testament's 16 known
textual witnesses—namely, manuscript P—which more closely than any
other witness to the text corresponds in general content to the critical
edition translated by Duling in OTP?
Dated to the sixteenth century CE, manuscript P opens with the title,
'Testament of Solomon, Son of Davld\ and previews the ensuing text as
dealing with Solomon's knowledge and use of'all the spirits of the air, of
the earth, and under the earth' (1.00). Then comes a doxology (1.0). which
is followed by a story of how Solomon came to possess a specialring(1.1-
7) that enabled him to interview a series of heteromorphic demons. In the
course of these interviews Solomon extracts from the demons a massive
store of esoteric knowledge (1.8-25.9). ranging from demonology and
astrology to incanlational and ritual prescriptions, all of which is disclosed
in the Testament for a variety of prophylactic and therapeutic uses against
the demonic realm. By means of this same knowledge, moreover, and
equipped with the ring, Solomon is also able to compel the demons to
assist him in the construction of the Jerusalem Temple (1.00; 1.7; 2.8;
6.12; 12.5). E>espite this achievement and the vast wisdom which the great
king acquired through the demons, the Testament of Solomon ultimately
comes to an ambivalent ending, with Solomon as narrator detailing how he
eventually was led into idolatry through his love of alien women (26.1 -5)
and reduced to the status of a 'laughingstock' before 'the idols and
demons' (26.6-8).
As already hinted, however, the text-critical realities surrounding this
document—indeed, the assumptions we have to make merely to speak of
the Testament of Solomon—are considerably less tidy than the summary
just provided could be misunderstood to suggest. Accordingly, much of the
discussion below deals with the kinds of difficulties that any serious effort
to understand the Testament is obligated to address. The particular com-
plexities in question, moreover, revolve around four issues in scholarly

5. Prior to its contribution to the eclectic edition prepared by C.C. McCown, The
Testament of Solomon (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1922). manuscript P had been printed
on its own twice, once by F.F. Fleck in 1837 (*WisscnschaftIichc Rcisc durch das
sfldliche Deutschland, Italien. Sicilien und Frankreich*, ll/^, AnecJota maximam
partem sacra [Leipzig: J.A. Barth, 1837], pp. 113-40). which was reprinted in PG
CXXII, cols. 1315-58: and again (in tronly) in F.C. Conyt)eare, 'The Testament of
Solomon', J(?^ 11 (1898). pp. 15-45.

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study of the Testament on which the rest of this study is designed to shed
light,^ These are: (1) therelationshipbetween the manuscript just summar-
ized (i.e. P) and another roughly like it—namely, manuscript H—whose
value for establishing the text has been judged superior to that of P in sev-
eral of the most influential works of scholarship;^ (2) the linguistic and liter-
ary evidence in manuscript P (and another manuscript commonly grouped
with it—namely, N- -in a single recension) for the existence of a coherent
but hitherto unrecognized source that antedates both P and H; (3) the
stylistic features which, in combination with the most recently discovered
manuscript evidence (i.e. the Vienna Papyrus, discussed further below),
strongly support the thesis, still opposed in some quarters, that Solomon's
dialogue with the 36 'world-rulers of the darkness of this age' (T Sol. 18.2)
not only once circulated independently of the rest of the Testament but also
constitutes the eariiest stratum of source material in any of the extant
manuscripts;** and (4) the history of tradition that can be seen to emerge
from the proposals defended below in connection with the three difficulties
just noted.*
None of these questions, however, possesses any great significance
without first being contextualized in relation to the history and present state
of research in Testament ofSolomon studies. Consequently, in order to give
some sense of what these questions might mean and why they are worth
asking in the first place, another brief story needs to be told—a tale not
about antique rings and demons and incantations, but rather about the magic
of modernism, the intellectual misfortunes to which it has contributed in one
area of scholariy inquiry, and the self-affirming ecstasy induced by its own
brand of verbal enchantment.

6. The priniary focus of ihe prcseni study falls on the first two of these issues,
with the remaining two being addressed only briefly and in general temis.
7. See. e.g., McCown, The Testament of Solomon, pp. 37-38.
8. See especially R. Daniel, 'The Testament of Solomon XVIII 27-28. 33-40'. in
Osterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Papyrus Enherzog Rainer (P. Rainer Cent.):
Festschrift zum 100 jahrigen Bestchen der Papyrussammhung der Osterreichischen
Nationalbihiiothek (Vienna: BrQdcr Hollinck. 1983), pp. 294-95; contested by D.C.
Duling, 'The Testament of Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect\J5P2 (1988), pp. 93-95.
9. This idea of sclf-<:onscious reconstructive work in which the object of
reconstruction is allowed (In some cases by necessity) to have imprecise boundaries is
adapted from D. Caichpole, The Questfor Q (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1993). pp. 5-6.

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222 Magic in the Biblical World

I. A Tale of Textual Abuse: The Testament 5 Modern Reception

In the critical edition of the Testament published in 1922 by CC. McCown,
which is the only published monograph to date devoted exclusively to the
document, overtly negative evaluations of the antique text and its alien
point of view abound, strongly underscoring not merely the great gulf
between the cultural context of McCown and that of the much earlier tradi-
tionists of the Testament, but also the deeply modernistic self-confidence
that the ideas found in the Testament could not for a moment be taken
seriously by the scholarly author or his enlightened (i.e. twentieth century
and Western) readers.'*' A handful of brief extracts from McCown's work
are sufficient to illustrate my point.
In thefirstof these, which notably occurs in the opening two paragraphs
of the * Introduction' and thus before most readers in the study's intended
audience could begin to acquire even a vague notion of what the Testa-
ment is about, McCown characterizes the obscure text as a piece oVnaive
popular science'," and then as a *product of those xYixte pseudo-sciences
which have brought more disappointed hopes and abject terrors to man-
kind than any others: astrology, demonology, and magic'.'- Shortly at^er
this unflattering description, but not until the Testament's ideas have been
debased further as "superstitious puerilities...Tccordin^ the hopes and
fears of the vast majority of mankind'.'^ which of course the civilized
societies of the author and reader are assumed to have outgrown long ago,
McCown gives the text of my second example:
In spite of their ahsurJtties demonology and magic had a tremendous hold
upon the great body of mankind. The Testament is doubly welcome, since
unfortunately we have too few first hand sources in this field.'"^
As a footnote attached to this latter piece reinforces the author's overt
repudiation of the Testament's worldview by associating it with 'ancient
superstitions','^ it is difficult not to wonder why the Testament is

10. On the abiding influence of McCown's work, sec Duling. *The Testament of
Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect*, p. 91. All italics in the ensuing quotations from
McCown afxr mine.
11. McCown. The Testament of Solomon, p. I,
12. McCown, The Testament of Solomon, p. 1.
13. McCown. The Testament ofSolomon, p. 1.
14. McCown. The Testament of Solomon, p. 2.
15. McCov^n, The Testament of Solomon, p. 2 n. 3.

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KLutz The Archer and the Cross 223

described, on the other hand, as 'doubly welcome'. While no answer to

this question can be given with certainty, the combination in these pages
of pejorative description on the one hand and interest in alien (and thus
inferior) religious beliefs on the other does suggest at least one somewhat
disturbing answer: the reason McCown regards the Testament 'doubly wel-
come', especially in a modernistic context from which it differs so conspi-
cuously, is that it serves to remind us all—author and readers—of how
wondrously far our part of the world has progressed, how impressively we
have transcended what A.A. Barb, an ideological kinsman of McCown's,
once memorably called 'the syncrelistic, rotting refuse heap of the dead
and dying religions of the whole ancient world*."* To subject this sort
of description to a simple variety of deconstruction, we might say that Mc-
Cown's overt binarism of modem/ancient entails an implicit but unmistak-
able hierarchy of culturally relative values—namely, our rationality over
their superstition. And not surprisingly, standing at the very top of that
hierarchy, looking down with reason-induced ataraxia at the putrid mass of
our protological forebears, is McCown—along with, it is important to add,
any of us who assume ourselves liberated, by whatever means, from the
dangers of chronological snobbery and its band of ethnocentric allies.
Although further critique of McCown is essential at several points
below, my chief aim in this paper is not to deride him for simply having
absorbed certain biases that were ingrained in the academic culture he un-
avoidably internalized; to engage in such derision, after all, would merely
implicate me in a boring replay of McCown vs. the Testament of Solomon,
with my abuse of McCown being no more equitable than his abuse of the
Testament. Nor, for that matter, is my goal to champion the virtues of par-
ticular brands of criticism that have arisen since the publication of McCown,
and which might prove useful in future analyses of magico-religious texts
in general; indeed, the constructive steps recently taken by a handful of
scholars in this latter field'^ are becoming sufficiently influential, in my

16. A.A. Barb, *The Survival ot*Magic Arts', in A. Momigliano(ed.), The Conflict
Between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1963), p. 104. cited in R. MacMullen, Paganism in the Roman Empire (New Haven:
Yale Universit>' Press, 1981), p. 83, who tacitly valorises Barb's rationalist phraseology
by describing it as merely 'a trifle dramatic' and conveying 'the right impression'.
17. For exemplary sensitivity to the theoretical problems in scholarly discourse
about magic, sec especially J.G. Gager (ed.). Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from
the Ancient World {Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1992), pp. 24-25; Garrett. The
Demise of the Devil, pp. 2-36; and M. Meyer and R. Smith (eds.). Ancient Christian

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224 Magic in the Biblical World

view, to justify the rather different path being pursued here, namely, to
focus less on theoretical aspects of scholarly discourse about *magic' and
•religion' than on the four issues outlined above and related matters. But
before we turn to concentrate on those concerns, and in order to create a
satisfactory context for my own foray into this field, a few more observa-
tions on the work of McCown and the lasting influence it has exerted on
scholarly understanding of the Testament's textual identity are necessary.
As hinted above, what is conveniently called 'the Testament of Solo-
mon' is not so much a solid text with a clear identity as it is a blurry and
elusive textual space thinly populated by an assortment of heterogeneous
manuscripts whose chief source of unity is their mutual interest in certain
secrets obtained by Solomon from the demonic realm. Although I will
expand on this generalization in some detail below by discussing several
of the Testament's individual manuscripts, at this juncture my sole strategy
to defend its suitability as a summary of the text-critical situation is to
appeal to a recent essay by D.C. Duling, who, after translating and com-
menting extensively on the Testament in Charlesworth's OTP, asserted
five years later: 'Despite the dominance of McCown's views [i.e. on mat-
ters of textual history and identity], there has not been total agreement on
the earliest form or evolution of T. So/, a problem which persists to the
present'.'** As Duling goes on to observe, moreover, most scholars inter-
ested in the Testament have tended to rely heavily on McCown, repeating
his views on everything from genre and origins to provenance and recen-
sions.'*' Indeed, this same observation is in many respects applicable to
Duling's own publications on the Testament, with his positions on matters
of tradition history and textual criticism (i.e. those of greatest concern in
the present essay) being especially close to those advanced by McCown
over 75 years ago.^^
Merely a casual reading of Duling*$ work therefore enables us to recover

Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1994), pp. 1-6.
Learned and useful but inconsistent on the problem of definition is F. Graf. Magic in
the Ancient World{XXBns. F. Philip; Revealing Antiquity, 10; Cambridge. MA: Harvard
University Press. 1997), pp. 12-19.
18. Duling, *The Testament of Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect', p. 90.
19. Duling, 'The Testament of Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect*, p. 91. A notable
example is K. Preisendanz, "Salomo", in PWVIII, cols. 684-90, which, in addition to
relying heavily on McCown, shows no awareness of the evidence discussed below for
a literary seam at the end of the Testament's fifteenth chapter.
20. See Duling, *The Testament of Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect', pp. 91.

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226 Magic in the Biblical World

our initial survey of the document's contents (i.e. P). One of the main
reasons P merits special attention is that it contains a block of material
(T. Sol. 14.3-16.1 according to the textual divisions in McCown and
Duling) which, though absent from every other witness except manuscript
N, was considered by McCown to be an original part of the Testament and
included by Duling in his English translation.-' The material in question, it
is worth adding, is colourful: near its beginning, for instance, the demon
known as *the Winged Dragon* discloses that the sort of evil in which he
takes special delight is to copulate, 'not with many women, but with only a
few that have beautiful bodies' and belong to a particular zodiacal sign,
the identity of which is discussed below. But more important for our pre-
sent purp>oses, this same problematic section includes near its end (15.13-
14) a number of features which suggest that, at an earlier stage of compo-
sition, either all or much of 1.00-15.14 circulated without the remaining
eleven chapters of the document. As manuscript N, moreover, includes not
only 14.3-16.1, but almost everything else found in manuscript P,-** these
two witnesses were grouped together by McCown as the leading represen-
tatives of a single recension, which McCown himself and subsequent in-
terpreters have labelled 'B'. 25 Although McCown judged both P and N
(especially the latter) very important for establishing the imagined *origi-
nal,- 26and despite his confidence that P and N's inclusion of 14.3-16.1
best represented that original, he still rated these two witnesses as gener-
ally inferior to H, I and L,27 which he grouped together into another recen-
sion—namely, "A",28
Particularly in light of the presence of 14.3-16.1 in both P and N,
McCown's classification of these two witnesses as belonging to the same
text type is accepted here (as it has been by others) as unassailable.
Similarly, his grouping of manuscripts H, I and L into the single recension
*A* shows no sign of critical vulnerability. Yet these achievements should

23. McCown, The Testament of Solomon^ p. 31 n. 4. and p. 33 n. 3; and Duling,

*The Testament of Solomon*, pp. 974-76.
24. The only material found in P but absent from N is the brief prefatorial matter
and the first four verses of the narrator's story (i.e. the title, the prologue, and T. Sol.
25. McCown. The Testament of Solomon, pp. 31 -34: and Duling, *Tbc Testament
of Solomon: Retrospect and Prospect', pp. 89, 101.
26. McCown, The Testament of Solomon, p. 33.
27. McCown, The Testament of Solomon, p. 33.
28. McCown. The Testament of Solomon, pp. 31, 35-36.

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by no means be allowed to lull us into placing unreserved confidence in

McCown's whole recensional and historical reconstruction, and especially
that part of it which dates recension A (represented by manuscripts H, I
and L) earlier than recension B (represented by manuscripts N, P and Q)
and thus nearer the 'original' Testament;29 for McCown's textual taxon-
omy begins to run into serious difficulties as soon as his third and final
witness to recension B, namely, manuscript Q, is collated in terms of gen-
eral content w ith the other witnesses. Although Q agrees almost perfectly
in content with P from the title (1.00) to the end of Solomon's interroga-
tion of the demon Omias (2.1 -9), it has none of the material found in P and
N of 3.1-20.9, which amounts to well over half of the Testament. To be
sure, when Q eventually rejoins P and N in the middle of a conversation
between Solomon, an elderiy artisan, and the demon Omias (20.10), it
agrees closely in content with P and N up to their common conclusion,
which consists of Solomon's first-person disclosure of his reasons for
composing the Testament. But far more important for a convincing classi-
fication of the manuscripts, a comparison of Q with another key witness to
the Testament—namely, manuscript D—shows that the agreement between
these two in terms of general content is much greater than 0*s overlap with
N and P—the manuscripts, that is, which along with Q form McCown's
recension B. To be more precise, D agrees with Q not only in its inclusion
of almost all the material from the title (1.00) to the end of Solomon's
examination of the demon Omias (2.1 -9), but also in its major omission of
material from 3.1 to 19.3, with the last two verses of ch. 18 (vv. 42-44)
being the only material that D includes from this lengthy section.^**
This striking combination of agreements, whose existence has not been

29. McCown, The Testament of Solomon, pp. 31-33.

30. If D, as suggested below, should be grouped with manuscript Q to form a pre-
viously unrecognized recension, then its inclusion ol* T. Sol. 18.42-44. which consists
of one of the tradition's two premature endings to the Testament (the other being T.
Sol. 15,13-14). would entail an alignment ofthe newrecensionand McCown's family
B against recension A (which lacks this ending), indicating contra McCown that this
material was not added but rather omitted at a late stage in the history ofthe tradition.
This latter point, in turn, supports the theses defended below that (1) the presence of
the premature endings in manuscripts N and P, viewed in the light of their absence
from McCown's recension A (manuscripts H. I and L). is a feature that an editor would
be more likely to remove than to add; and (2) that the Testament's eighteenth chapter
in particular once circulated as an independent document whose original ending (i.e.
18.42-44), which is preserved in slightly different forms in manuscripts N, P and D.
was deliberately omitted by the edilor(s) of recension A.

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sion, it nevertheless contains all the co-text immediately surrounding the

disputed material, not to mention almost all of 1.1-14.2, so that the diver-
gence from P and N on this matter is once again striking. Accordingly, the
omission of I4.3-I6.1a from these two important witnesses (H and L)
demands an explanation, which in turn requires consideration of select
details of the omitted material.
First, in manuscripts P and N of 15.13-14, and thus just before the end
of the disputed section, a shift of topic and of temporal orientation takes
place, moving the focus away from Solomon's conversation with the
individual demon Enepsigos in the distant past (15.1-12) to his present
reflections, as narrator, on the reliability of all the demonic testimony re-
counted in the preceding co-text of these lines. Signalled by a variety of
tangible linguistic features—a divergence, for instance, from anarthrous
singular forms of 6aiMCOV\6aiM6viov at the beginning of each of the five
units in 11.1 -15.12" to the articular plural in 15.13- U;34 the first allusion
in the document to Solomon's death (v. 14); and Solomon's anaphoric
reference to 'this testament' (v. 14)—the sense of closure produced by this
transition causes vv. 13-14 to differ markedly from all the material that
precedes it (1.00-15.12) and to function much like a coda, sealing off the
text and apparently realizing the conclusion of the document. As the
occurrence of SiaBriKTi in 15.14 is furthermore the first appearance of this
term since its use at the very beginning of the document (in its title,
Testament of Solomon', in manuscript P of 1.00),^^ it contributes to the
formation of an indusio which strengthens the impression that the text is
about to end.
Notwithstanding this strong sense of closure in 15.13-14, however, the
text preserved by these same manuscripts (P and N) does not actually
conclude at this point, but rather continues with 14 further units of vari-
egated material, agreeing in general content, therefore, with manuscript H

33. Sec T.Sol. II.I; 12.1; 13.1; I4.I; 15.1.

34. Whereas the anarthrous singular forms are used to denote the individual
demons in the context of their conversations with Solomon, the articular plural in 15.13
(Tcov 5oiMOvcov) functions anaphorically, referring back to all the demons Solomon
has interviewed in the antecedent co-text.
35. Manuscript N begins at 1.5 and thus, having no parallel to the title in manu-
script P at 1.00, lacks the sense of indusio found in manuscript P at 15.14. Still, it
should not be overlooked that 6ia8f)tcn in manuscript N at 15.14 conveys the same
anaphoric nuance that it does in manuscript P and therefore suggests the same sense of

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230 Magic in the Bihiical World

up to 26.8 and thus undermining the structural cues found at the end of ch.
15. But just as importantly, the end of ch. 15 is merely the first of two
conspicuous junctures in P and N where a coda without parallel in H and L
turns out to be a false ending. To be precise, as in 15.13-14 so also at the
end of ch. 18, and thus once again at the close of a discrete unit of text,36
material that is absent from H and L37 but present in N and P strongly sig-
nals a macrostructural ending,38 whose schematic implications are bla-
tantly undermined, however, by the lengthy stretch of text that directly
follows in chs. 19-26.
In comparative perspective, therefore, the type of text preserved by H
and L can be seen to reflect a very specific and identifiable stage of redac-
tion which the textual trajectory represented by N and P did not undergo.
More specifically, this phase of editorial modification consisted, at least in
part, of a process of removing codas which, though Ihey may have func-
tioned perfectly well as endings in the older sources used by the redac-
tor's), became conspicuously inappropriate as more and more Solomonic
materials got added to the original Testament (i.e. 1.00-15.14). As for the
identity of these older sources, moreover, the evidence just summarized

36. That is. the discourse on the 36 decans {T. Sol. 18.1-42).
37. To be sure, as the text of manuscript L stops abruptly at the end of T. Sol.
18.28, L's omission of the subsequent coda is not as significant as H's. Nevertheless,
as the break in L comes directly after the discourse of the twenty-fourth dccan, which
of course is a muhiplc of the zodiacal number 12, the ending of L hardly looks
arbitrary or accidental. But more importantly, since manuscript H corresponds closely
to P and N in general content apart from the omission of 14.3-16.1, its lack of the coda
at the end of ch. 18 is almost certainly the result of redactional polishing.
38. The key portion of the additional material in manuscript P, which agrees in
general content with manuscript N, is as follows: Kai elxov rroXXnv nouxiav eyco
avGpcoircov Ka\ TCOV UTTO TCOV oupovcav, Km COKO5CHIOUV TOV vobv oXov Kuplou TOO
GEOO, Kai n ^aoiXsia pou f]v EuSuvouoa KQ'I b OTpaT(>>^ pou f)v MET* EMOO. KOI
XoiTTov avEnauooTO q noXis" itpouoaXrip xaipouoa KOI ayaXXicoMEvr] ('And I,
Solomon, had much quiet in all the land and was living in great peace, being honoured
by all of humankind and those under heaven. I built the whole temple of God: my reign
steered straight; and my army was with me. Finally, the city of Jerusalem was at
repose, rejoicing and being glad' (my translation].) While Duling, 'Testament of
Solomon', OTP I, pp. 981-82 n. s3. recognizes the potential of these lines to signify
what may have been, at an earlier stage in the Testament's development, an end to the
document, he fails to comment on how the difference between manuscripts P and i^ at
this point corresponds to the contrast between the same two manuscripts back in T. Sot.

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suggests that two documents in particular, corresponding roughly to 1.00-

15.14 and 18.1 -44, probably circulated prior to the existence of any of the
manuscripts discussed above—none of which, it is worth noting, has been
dated to earlier than the fifteenth century Ch; further evidence regarding
the existence and identity of sources antedating the manuscripts discussed
above will be presented below.
Although an aesthetically orientated revulsion to inappropriate endings
almost certainly played a role therefore in the removal of T. Sol. 14.3-
16.1 a from manuscripts H and L, this factor in itself scarcely accounts for
the omission of 14.3-16,Ia as a whole. For in the first place, while the
excision of this material obviously succeeded at ridding the Testament of
one of its two premature endings, it did not succeed at enhancing the
document's overall coherence, at least not in any striking way; for the
transition which the reader of manuscripts H and L has to make in jumping
from the end of 14.2 to 16. lb is only slightly less awkward than having to
negotiate the dysfunctional codas in 15.13-14and 18.42-44 in manuscripts
N and P.39 Appeals to literary sensibility and coherence, therefore, can
take us only so far towards understanding the motives behind the removal
of 14.2-16. lb from the textual trajectory of H and L. But just as signifi-
cantly, regardless of the degree to which these appeals help to explain H
and L's lack of 15.13-14. by themselves they shed no light on why the rest
of 14, (and most notably 14.3-15.12) was omitted.
In order to make progress on this latter question, we need above alt to
attend to certain features located near the beginning of the contested
section. Very intriguingly, just as the objectionable coda in 15.13-14 is
situated close to one of (he omitted section's boundaries—namely, its
end—so too the feature that probably inspired the excision of material
leading up to the coda is found near a boundary of the same section -but
in this instance its beginning. To be precise, in 14.4 the demon known as
*the Winged Dragon', who has just disclosed his fondness for intercourse
with shapely women (14.3), proceeds to describe in picturesque detail his
preferred style of copulation: he approaches his prey in the form of *a
winged spirit', he says, 'copulating [with the women] through [their]

39. In manuscripts H and L, the jump readers have to make from 14.2 to 16.2 due
to the omission of 14.3-16.1 involves a grammatically awkward shift from the dis-
course of one demon to that of another. Therefore, as Darrell Hannah has helpfully
pointed out in response to an earlier version of this paper, the nature of the omission
appears to have been a removal of an entire page or two rather than a careful editorial

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attention, he specifies that they must not only be nicely formed but also
possess 'a name of Tou ^uXou of this star'. As McCown's critical appara-
tus helpfully explains, in manuscript P the genitive ending of the noun is
absent and the Greek letter lambda is not found after the upsilon but rather
above it. Still, at least on the surface TOU ^UXOU seems a reasonable
reconstruction, which, as its referent in this context would almost certainly
be the cross of Christ, would cohere with several other Christian interpola-
tions in the Testament's first 15 chapters."" This same reconstruction,
moreover, is certainly preferable to most of its rivals, several of which are
regarded even by McCown as unintelligible;^* and an itacized corruption
of the same noun is attested at this point in manuscript N (TOU ^EIXOU).
And finally, the same noun is used in precisely this fashion, to refer to the
cross, in 15.10.**
Despite the merits of this reading, however, it is vulnerable to a syn-
tactical objection that appears to have been overlooked by all of its known
proponents; to be precise, by construing the letters TOU as an article whose
function would be to particularize the conjectured genitive ^uAou, which
in turn would be connected w ith the anarthrous noun 6vo|ja, the solution
just summarized results in a grammatical construction that violates a fun-
damental principle of ancient Greek usage. The principle in question is
Apollonius's Canon, which says that two nouns linked together in this
kind of construction will either both have the article or both lack it; only
rarely, in certain classes of exceptions (none of which is represented here),
do we find one noun with the article and the other without it.47 This

44. See.T.o/. 6.8; 11.6; 12.3: 15.10

45. McCown. The Testament ofSolomon, p. 45* (the asterisk distinguishes pages in
McCown's critical edition from pages in his introductory discussion). McCown
mentions two other options postulated by F. Bomemann, 7.HT 14(1844). pp. 9-56: TOU
5i(^'iou(*of the sword-shaped comet') and TOU Zcipiov (the brightest star of the con-
stellation Canis Major, variously known as the Dog Star. Canicula, Sothis) respec-
tively—but rightly dismisses them. Bomemann's conjectures are prone to the same
criticism outlined below against TOO ^UXOU. For additional criticism of Bomemann*s
alternatives, sec Jackson, "Notes on the Testament of Solomon', p. 52.
46. Jackson. 'Notes on the Testament of Solomon', pp. 51 -52.
47. On Apollonius's Canon and classes of exceptions to it. see S. Porter. Idioms of
the Greek New Testament (Biblical Languages: Greek, 2; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992),
p. 111. Although one t)pe of exception to this rule involves the use of proper names
(see BDF. pp. 135-36). the syntactical pattern in these cases is for the head noun to be
articular and the proper name to be anarthrous, which is the reverse of what we would
have with ovopo -*- TOU ^UXOU.
234 Magic in the Biblical World

consideration by itself constitutes a nearly fatal blow to the idea that TOO
^uXou is the original reading; consequently, as soon as we recognize fur-
ther that Tou ^uXou is not in fact a proper name48 and that its hypothesized
occurrence in construct with 6vo\xtx would result in a most unlikely com-
bination/*^ we can safely dismiss this reading once and for all as a corrup-
tion of some other.
There is only one alternative that has more advantages than liabilities.
Conjectured tentatively by McCown but never seriously defended by him
or any one else who has published on the matter,50 the reading in question
is the anarthrous genitive singular form of the name TO^OTTIS'—that is,
TO^OTOu^*—which would constitute a reference to the zodiacal sign of
Sagittarius, otherwise known as 'the Archer'. In context, then, the demonic
speaker (i.e. the aforementioned Winged Dragon) would be saying that all
the women he attacks are associated in some way with Sagittarius.52

48. At first glance the Acts of Peter 37, where the apostle Peter is cited twice as
referring to 'the name of the cross' (ovopa OTaupoO). may seem to undermine me on
this point. But two considerations seriously weaken the force ofthis evidence: (1) since
neither of the occurrences in Acts of Peter 37 include an articular noun (i.e. all the
nouns arc anarthrous), both instances of the key phrase actually uphold Apollonius's
Canon; and (2) differences in the respective semantic ranges of oraupo^ and ^uXov,
the former being much narrower in compass, make the latter far less suitable as a
name. But just as important as either of these factors, in the few passages of the
Testamentwhere^uXov is employed to denote the cross of Christ (T. Sol. 12.3 and
15.10).nohint of an appellative nuance is discernible, depriving us of any basis within
the Testament itself for imagining that its editors had this sense in mind.
49. Although one may wish to urge in response that TOO fy\o\i is precisely the dif-
ficult son of reading a scribe would be tempted to change (and thus has good claim to
be original), we might counter that some readings are so difficult that they can be satis-
factorily explained only by recourse to the postulate of transcriptional accident: cf.
B.M. Metzger, The Text of the Sew Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd
cdn. I968),p. 209.
50. See McCown, The Testament of Solomon, p. 45*; and Jackson, 'Notes on the
Testament of Solomon', p. 52.
51. The change from TO^OTOU to ToO ^OXou can be explained in at least two differ-
ent ways. Either a Christian copyist deliberately deviated from his yorlage in order to
develop a favourite theme—namely, that the demonic realm has a special interest in
spoiling the sexual purity of Christian women (i.e. those who 'possess a name of the
cross')—or an angular letter tau at the end of the stem in TO^OTCKJ was mistaken as a
lambda, which could easily have led the copyist to construe the word as a carelessly
written TOU ^uXou.
52. As explained by A. Bouché-Leclercq, L Astrologie grecque (Paris: Lxrroux,
1899), pp. 373-83, most astrologers of Late Antiquity, unlike their modem counter-

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KLUTZ The Archer and the Cross 235

This proposal has multiple advantages over TOG ^UAOU. First of all, as
TOCOTOU is anarthrous, its syntactical link in this context with the anar-
throus noun ovopot has none of the shortcomings noted above in relation
to Apollonius's Canon. Second, TO^OTTI^, unlike ^uXov, fulfills the gram-
matical obligation of ovopa in this context to occur in construct with a
bona fide name." Furthermore, a reference to the zodiacal sign of Sagit-
tarius would cohere much better than a reference to the Cross would with
the immediate co-textual reference to 'this star' (14.3), for both 'Sagit-
tarius' and *star' have overtly astrological overtones in this context. Simil-
arly, in terms of wider literary and thematic appropriateness, whereas
1.00-15.14 includes only one clear reference to the Cross (15.10), it con-
tains many references to astrological phenomena, including particular signs
of the zodiac.^ But perhaps most important of all, a reference to Sagittarius

parts, identified the zodiacal sign of their clients not according to time of birth but
rather according to time of conception, which was assumed of course to have occurred
nine signs earlier. However, for reasons discussed below, the branch of astrological
theory assumed in this context is probably not of this genethlialogical variety, which
was devoted to casting specific horoscopes for individuals, but rather is chorographic
in nature, dealing on a higher level of abstraction with the fates of entire geographical
areas or ethnic groups: for further disciission of chorographic astrology, sec Barton,
Ancient Astrology pp. 179-81,212,
53. The collocational appropriateness of having TO^OTT)^ occur with a term from
the ovopa group is well illustrated in Vetlius Valens, Anthologiarum 9.55.12: b ptv
ydp' HXios THjpcoSns uirdtpxcov rrpoocpKEicoBn Kpicb AEOVTI TO^OTTI, oirtp auTOU
Tptycovov npoacovOM0(o6ri npEpivov ('For the sun, since it is like a firebrand, was
assigned to Arics-Leo-Sagitiarius, which is the name of his triangle by day').
54. Sec,e.g.,/:5b/. 2.2:4.6-10;5.4,8;6.7;7.6;8.2,4; 10.3; U.3; 13.3; 15.5-6.As
additional support for reading TOCOTOU here, it should be noted that while no form of
this word is found in the critical text assembled by McCown. it docs occur as a variant
in manuscript P at 18.3; and, since the contents of the Vienna Papyrus, which is the
Testament's earliest textual witness (fifth or sixth century CR), clearly indicate that the
earliest known form of the Testament's eighteenth chapter was organised zodiacally.
with the 36 decans being distributed among the 12 zodiacal signs, we can be virtually
certain that To^brns was present in the three rubrics that originally stood in T. Sol.
18.29-31, designating the zodiacal patron of the three decans who reveal themselves in
these verses. As noted by Barton, Ancient Astrology^ p. 97. the distribution of 36
decans between the 12 signs of the zodiac was a standard conception in Graeco-Roman
astrological theory. In fact, many ancient astrological texts are so schematic and
repetitive that any damaged or missing lines in them can be confidently recovered, at
least in part, on the basis of the familiar sequencing and structure of the zodiacal code;
for a particularly interesting example, see F. Schmidt. 'Ancient Jewish Astrology: An
Attempl to Interpret 4QCryplic (4Q186)\ in M.E. Stone and E.G. Chazon (eds.).

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236 Magic in the Biblical World

here would satisfy expectations created by two distinct schemes—one

aesthetic, the other astrological—which powerfully constrain the structure
and sequencing of 1.1-15.14.
First of all, on the level of macro-literary structure, we have already
seen how the material at the end of this section (i.e. 14.3-16.1) functions
not only as a coda signalling the end of the narrative but also as part of an
inciusio that frames all the material between 1.00 and 15.14. The existence
of this frame therefore invites us to ask whether a more elaborate structure
of schematic features might be discemed in this section. More specifically,
as the unit in which Sagittarius is mentioned (14.1 -8) lies not far from the
coda in 15,13-14, separated from it by only one unit (15.1-11), its expec-
ted parallel ought to be located near the abstract/title in 1.00. And predic-
tably, situated only a short distance from the Testament's beginning is a
unit that does in fact anticipate and parallel Solomon*s conversation in
14.1-8 with the Winged Dragon. In 2.1-7, to be more precise, the demon
Omias, whose interrogation by Solomon is separated from the abstract
only by the story about the master workman's little boy (1.1 -13), discloses
that the zodiacal sign in which both he and one special group of his human
victims 'reside' is the Waterpourer, otherwise known as Aquarius.
The conceptual link between Aquarius here in 2.2 and Sagittarius in
14.3 is conspicuous; and its structural significance only increases when we
recognize that, despite the prominence in this section (1.1-15.14) of astro-
logical motifs in general, only three of the twelve signs of the zodiac are
associated closely with the story's demonic characters. But just as impor-
tantly, the parallelism of 2.1 -7 and 14,1-5 is reinforced by several other ele-
ments of correspondence. In both passages, for instance, astrology is united
with sexual motifs: while the demon who mentions Sagittarius apparently
takes delight in anal intercourse, copulating with human females ^through
their buttocks', Ornias has already been portrayed as sucking the thumb
of the master workman's little boy (1.1-2) and later describes himself as
'craving the bodies of effeminate boys' (2.3). In both units, moreover,
mythological overtones involving a god or goddess of love can be identi-
fied (Virgo in 2.2; Eros in 14.4). Furthermore, both of these demons are
pictured as possessing wings (2.3; 14.3), which only a minority of the

Biblical Perspectives: Early Use and Interpretation of the Bible in Light of the Dead
Sea Scrolls (Leiden: EJ.BriM 1998). pp. 189-203. On the zodiacalframeworkattested
in the Vienna Pap>Tiis. see Daniel. *Thc Testament of Solomon XVII! 27-28, 33-40',
pp. 299-304; and Duling. 'The Testament of Solomon: Reu-ospect and Prospect', pp.

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KLUTZ The Archer and the Cross 237

demonic spirits in chs. 1-15 arc portrayed as owning. And finally, like
Omias in 2.5, the demon in 14.5 is coerced by Solomon into assisting in
the construction of the temple.55 Although we shall take note below of
another arresting link between these two units, the cumulative impact of
those just surveyed is to suggest that 2.1-7 and 14.1-5 do form a macro-
structural scheme inside the frame provided by the abstract and coda.
As noted above, only three demons in chs. 1-15 are closely associated
with individual signs of the zodiac; and significantly, like the two just
identified (i.e. Aquarius and Sagittarius), the third is mentioned not by
Solomon himself but rather by one of the demons interviewed by him.56
The identity of the third sign emerges in 4.1 -6, in Solomon's conversation
with the satvra Onoskelis, whose distinctive combination of the face and
body of a beautiful woman and the legs of a mule constitutes a clear
zodiagraphic representation of the sign of Capricorn.^" Moreover, while
Onoskelis's speech is not as vividly erotic as the Winged Dragon's, she
does share his keen interest in sexual intercourse and even uses the same
lexis (e.g. ouyy'ivoijai) to denote her activities in this area as the Winged
Dragon uses for his (14.3).^^ But just as importantly, in addition to antici-
pating the representation of the Winged Dragon, Onoskelis also parallels
Omias, the zodiacally affiliated demon that precedes her in the scheme
(2.1-4); for like him she identifies herself with the constellation with
which her human victims are associated. Thus, alongside Omias and the

55. Although this particular link docs add strength to the larger parallelism between
the two units, in itsel fit carries only minimal weight since most of the demons inter-
viewed by Solomon in this section are coerced into working on the construction of the
56. While astrological concepts are linked with many of the other demons in the
Testament, they concern pianetar\' and astral phenomena outside the zodiacal system of
12 signs (e.g. 8.1-tl; 15.5).
57. Duling. ^Testament of Solomon', p. 965 n. 4c; on the symbolism of Capricorn,
see especially Bouch^-Leclercq. L Astrohgie grecque, pp. 144-45.
58. As several other lexical options (e.g. yivcooKco. OUMTTXCKCO) would have been
familiar and available to the re.v/tfwt'M/'s author/editor (see I). Bain, 'Six Greek Verbs
of Sexual Congress'. CiQ 4[ [1991]. pp. 51-77). the use of ouyy'ivoiiai in both of
these contexts should not be presumed litcrarily innocent or structurally inconsequen-
tial; on the contrary, since any two verbs for sexual congress could have been chosen
from the larger set of available options, the repetition of the one tenn in this context
helps to create a sense of schematic correspondence between the two passages and thus
reinforces the argument made here and below concerning the structure and former inde-
pendence of the Testament's first 15 chapters.

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KLUTZ The Archer and the Cross 239

4. Natal vs. Chorographic Astrology

If this zodiacal scheme has the various implications I am suggesting it has.
its discovery generates a whole new set of questions which I can do little
more than mention here. For instance, what significance might this parti-
cular group of signs have had in the triplicity source's earliest context of
reception? And why this particular triplicity rather than another? As the
four seasons of the year can be correlated very neatly with any four-fold
division of the 12 signs of the zodiac, a season-orientated interpretation
might be attractive if any ancient evidence for it could be cited; but unfortu-
nately it cannot.**- Indeed, were we simply to accept the usual assumption
that the type of astrology instantiated in these passages is the well-known
genethlialogical (i.e. natal) variety,*^ we would probably have to dismiss
the whole zodiacal arrangement of this part of the Testament as being
marred by the same kind of unintelligibility that H.M. Jackson attributes to
the astrological discourse of Omias in particular (2.2).^
Jackson's struggles with T Sol. 2.2 merit further attention here, for they
almost certainly stem in large measure from an errant assumption concern-
ing the passage's most important astrological reference. To be more pre-
cise, in his handling of the demon Omias's utterance M strangle those who
lie in Aquarius who because of their lust for wenches have invoked the
sign of Virgo' (2.2),^^ Jackson understands residing *in Aquarius' as mean-
ing to be *bom under' (or during) that sign;** thereby, and even more

the zodiac) is not difficult to imagine in early Imperial and Late Antique culture; for,
according to Barton {Ancient Astrology, pp. 82. 125-30). zodiacal triplicities played a
prominent role in the astrological theorizing of figures such as Dorotheus of Sidon
(first century en) and Rhclorius the Egyptian (sixth century CE).
62. For discussion of the various ways the 12 signs were categorized by ancient
astrological theorists, see Barton. Ancient Astrology; p. 102.
63. Unlike chorographic astrology (discussed further below), which concerns itself
with the behaviour and characteristics of whole races and countries and cities,
genethlialogy focuses chiefly on matters of individual interest. For further discussion
of the differences between the two, sec Barton, Ancient Astrology, pp. 179-84.
64. Jackson, *Notes on the Testament of Solomon', p. 27. On Omias*s claim that he
strangles 'those who reside in Aquarius who because of their lust for wenches have
invoked the zodiacal Virgin' (2.2). Jackson comments. 'This is nonsensical in astro-
logical, not to mention logical terms' (p. 27).
65. For reasons discassed below, I opt here for Jackson's own rendering of the
Greek ('Notes on the Testament of Solomon', p. 27) rather than Duling's.
66. Jackson, 'Notes on the Testament of Solomon*, p. 27.

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240 Magic in the Biblical World

importantly, he also assumes that the wider astrological game being played
in this context is essentially of the genethlialogical variety. Against this,
however, both 2.2 and 4.6-7 contain clues suggesting that something other
than genethlialogy is involved here, that perhaps to"lieinAquarius"in this
context is better interpreted in terms of chorographic or so-called mundane
astrology, which is comparatively more group-orientated in its concerns.
The clearest clue pointing in this direction is probably Onoskelis's dis-
closure, in 4.6-7, that the men she most enjoys intercourse with are those
whose skin is 'honey-coloured'. As these honey-toned men are also
described as belonging en masse to the same zodiacal sign to which
Onoskelis herself belongs (i.e. Capricorn), the assumed framework of con-
cepts in this setting is therefore one in which belonging to a given sign of
the zodiac is based not on date of birth or conception but rather on physi-
cal attributes and thus, in most cases, on ethno-geographical identity; for
this latter set of factors would have stood a far better chance of being un-
derstood in relation to skin colour than would dates of birth or conception.
In chorographic discourse, each sign of the zodiac functions as the
patron deity of a particular set of geographical areas and their associated
racial groups. Unsurprisingly, therefore, chorography was widely used in
the Graeco-Roman world to explain the physical appearance and cultural
habits of different peoples and races.^^ As an understanding of choro-
graphic concepts furthcrmorc enables us in the present context to under-
stand both why the devotees of Onoskelis all have honey-coloured skin
and why they are obligated to honour her (and thus Capricorn) in particu-
lar, this species of astrological theory ought to be recognized henceforth as
one of the most relevant systems of contextual knowledge for anyone
trying to understand and explain the content of T SoL 4.6-7.
In view of the interpretative light shed by chorography on 4.6-7, we
may well w ish to explore whether this same framework of concepts helps
us to understand the other zodiacal references in 1.00-15.14. Awareness of
chorographic ideas does in fact help to clear up at least one grammatically
problematic aspect of the demon Omias*s speech cited above (2.2-4).
Whereas the Greek construction TOUS EV'YSpoxoco Keipevous" 5 r €7Ti-

67. Barton, Ancient Astrology^ pp. 182-85. An early and particularly interesting
variation on this theme is present in Hippocrates, Airs, Waters. Places 15.20-21, where,
as the antecedent co-text of the passage makes clear, the pale skin of the Scythians is
attributed not just to factors of climate, but also to that on which all climatic variation is
thought to depend, that is, therisingsand settings of stars, the solstices, equino.xes, etc.

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KLUTZ The Archer and the Cross 241

9\jpiav Tcov yuvaiKcjv rriv TTapSEvov ^co5iov KEKXritcoTa-^ CCTTO-

Tiviyco in 2.2 is translated by Duling, *I [Omias] strangle those who reside
in Aquarius because of their passion for women whose zodiacal sign is
Virgo*,*'* it has been rendered more recently by Jackson as meaning, 'I
strangle those who lie in Aquarius who because of their lust for wenches
have invoked the sign of Virgo' (my emphasis).^'* As Jackson's rendering
offers by far the better understanding of the participle KGKXriKOTas (*who
have invoked'), which Duling inexplicably leaves untranslated, it is adopted
here as the superior interpretation.^" Ironically, though, Jackson himself
fails to appreciate that his own suggestion at this point is supported by con-
siderations not only of syntax but also of the whole network of cultural
knowledge assumed by Omias's utterance; for in view of the aforemen-
tioned obligation of each geographical area to worship the zodiacal sign to
which it has been alloned, Omias's violent hostility to men of his own
sign (i.e. Aquarius) who invoke another (i.e. Virgo) to help them carry out
their erotic schemings is not, as Jackson suggests, complete nonsense,^' but
perfectly reasonable in terms of everyday patron-client relations between
ancient divinities and their worshippers. To be more precise, by calling on
(and thus honouring) a zodiacal sign other than the one they have been
destined by geography and race to worship, these lusty men dishonour the
zodiacal patron to whom both they and Omias are subordinate, and whose
honour Omias upholds by strangling those that challenge it.
Thus, as in T. Sol. 4.6-7 so in 2.2 the astrological material makes far
better sense against a backdrop of chorographic concepts than it does in
terms of genethlialogical horoscopy. Indeed, as a basic understanding of
chorography enables us to discover a whole network of culturally appropri-
ate meanings where otherwise only incoherence would be found, we might
wish to explore the possible implications of chorography for interpreting
other aspects of the Testament, asking for instance what geographical
regions and racial groups would have been associated in Late Antiquity

68. Duling. 'Testament of Solomon', p. 963.

69. Jackson, 'Notes on the Testament of Solomon', p. 27.
70. As the perfect tense-form of the participle KEicAnKOTas serves well in this
context to frontground the process it denotes (i.e. the invocation of Virgo by the men of
-Aquarius), conveying how important and newsworthy, indeed heinous, Omias consid-
ers this kind of behaviour to be, its absence from Duling's translation misses what may
be the most semantically important feature of the verse. On the importance of verbal
aspect in the use of Greek participles in general, sec Porter, Idioms of the Greek New
Testament, pp. 181, 183.
71. Jackson, 'Notes on the Testament of Solomon', p, 27.

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Manque les pages 242, 243, 244