The primary purpose of this publication was to edit, with translation and necessary notes, the incantation texts inscribed on bowls from Nippur, now in the possession of the Museum. But it soon became apparent that full account should be made of all other published texts of like character, both for my own advantage in securing a larger material for collation and also for the convenience of scholars by presenting in one work a survey of a rather remote and scattered field, in which many have labored but none has attempted a treatment of the subject at large. I have accordingly not only given a description of all the earlier material but also collated it as fully as possible both in the Glossaries and in the references of Introduction and Commentary. The Introduction, thus extended beyond the field of the Nippur texts, has grown to still greater dimensions with the enlarging perception of the intimate relations between the bowl-inscriptions and the broad fields of ancient magical literature.
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