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Laura Willer


Research Interests:

Papyrology; Magic in Greco-Roman Antiquity; Ancient Perception of Time; Reuse of Papyri


Laura Willer is an Assistant at the Institute of Papyrology at Heidelberg University, where she studied papyrology, ancient history, ancient Greek and classical archaeology. Her dissertation, completed in 2015, focuses on the production and handling of so-called magical papyrus amulets from Roman Egypt. She was a Research Associate at the Collaborative Research Cluster "Material Text Cultures" (2012-2015), and a Research Fellow at the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (2017).

Project Abstract

Specification of the exact hour is relatively rare in Greek papyri from administrative or private contexts. It can be found at the end of letters from the archive of Senouthios in early Islamic times, for example, where it registers when the letter was sent. Such instances are largely unexplored to date.

On the contrary, in magical handbooks, time specifications often denote when a ritual should be performed. Specification of the exact hour was necessary also in horoscopes.

The aim of this project is to investigate the different usages and meanings of specifications of hours, the differences between a mundane context and one regarding beliefs, and to explore if time specifications were in use more often from Byzantine times onwards than earlier.

Curriculum vitae

2016 – 2017

Research Associate on the project "Zeugnisse einer multikulturellen Gesellschaft: Papyri zum Zusammenleben von Christen und Muslimen im früharabischen Ägypten"


Since 2015

Research Associate at the Institute of Papyrology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


2015 – 2016

Research Associate on the project A03 "Materiality and Presence of Magical Signs between Antiquity and the Middle Ages" at the CRC 933 "Material Text Cultures. Materiality and Presence of Writing in Non-Typographic Societies", Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


Until 2011

Studies of Greek and Roman Archaeology, Greek and Roman History, Ancient Greek and Papyrology in Heidelberg

Selected Publications

L. Willer (Ed.), Christen und Muslime am Nil: Zusammenleben im früharabischen Ägypten (Begleitheft zur Ausstellung im Universitätsmuseum Heidelberg vom 28. April bis 16. Juli 2017; Heidelberg 2017).

L. Willer, "Die Handhabung magischer Schriftamulette im römischen Ägypten", in: T. Derda/A. Łajtar/J. Urbanik (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th International Congress of Papyrology, Warsaw, 29 July – 3 August 2013 (JJP Suppl. XXVIII; Warschau 2016) 735–744.


L. Willer, "Iatromagie: Magie und Medizin im griechisch-römischen Ägypten", in: A. Jördens (Ed.), Ägyptische Magie und ihre Umwelt(Wiesbaden 2015) 281–301.

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