Photo of Professor Siam Bhayro

Professor Siam Bhayro

Associate Professor in Early Jewish Studies

4240

01392 724240

Research interests

Bible, Semitic Languages and the Ancient Near East; Early Judaism and Jewish Biblical Exegesis; Medicine in the Christian and Islamic Orient; Aramaic incantation texts; ancient and medieval music.

Research collaborations

  • Publication of the Aramaic incantation bowls from the Martin Schøyen Collection (Norway), in collaboration with Professor Shaul Shaked (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and Dr James Nathan Ford (Bar Ilan University).
  • Publication of Sergius of Resh Aina's Syriac translation of Galen's Book of Simple Drugs, from a manuscript housed in the British Library, in collaboration with Dr Robert Hawley and Dr Jimmy Daccache (CNRS, Paris), as part of the European Research Council funded project Floriental.
  • Publication of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, from a manuscript housed in a private collection in the USA, in collaboration with Professor Peter Pormann (University of Manchester), Dr Robert Hawley (CNRS, Paris) and Dr Grigory Kessel (University of Marburg).
  • Publication of the Aramaic incantation bowls from the collection of the Pergamon Museum (Berlin), in collaboration with Dr Dan Levene (University of Southampton), Dr James Nathan Ford (Bar Ilan University), Dr Matthew Morgenstern (University of Haifa) and Dr Ortal-Paz Saar (IAS, Princeton).
  • Publication of a Handbook of North West Semitic Inscriptions, in collaboration with Dr Charles Haberl (Rutgers) and Dr Melonie Schmierer-Lee (Gorgias Press). 
  • Publication of a Handbook of Jewish Magic, in collaboration with Dr Ortal-Paz Saar (IAS, Princeton).
  • Publication of the proceedings of the Demons and Illness conference, in collaboration with Dr Catherine Rider (University of Exeter).

Contribution to discipline

Series Editor:

  • MRLA Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity - published by E. J. Brill [with Professor Shaul Shaked (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)]

MRLA

  1. S. Shaked, J. N. Ford and S. Bhayro, Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume One (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity Series, Volume 1; Leiden: Brill, 2013) http://www.brill.com/aramaic-bowl-spells
  2. D. Levene, Jewish Aramaic Curse Texts from Late-Antique Mesopotamia (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity Series, Volume 2; Leiden: Brill, 2013)
    http://www.brill.com/jewish-aramaic-curse-texts-late-antique-mesopotamia
  3. M. Moriggi, A Corpus of Syriac Incantation Bowls: Syriac Magical Texts from Late-Antique Mesopotamia (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity Series, Volume 3; Leiden: Brill, 2014) http://www.brill.com/products/book/corpus-syriac-incantation-bowls
  4. M. Shenkar, Intangible Spirits and Graven Images: The Iconography of Deities in the Pre-Islamic Iranian World (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity Series, Volume 4; Leiden: Brill, 2014) http://www.brill.com/products/book/intangible-spirits-and-graven-images-iconography-deities-pre-islamic-iranian-world
  5. S. Bhayro and C. Rider (eds), Demons and Illness from Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity Series, Volume 5; Leiden: Brill, 2017) http://www.brill.com/products/book/demons-and-illness-antiquity-early-modern-period
  6. O.-P. Saar, Jewish Love Magic from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity Series, Volume 6; Leiden: Brill, 2017) http://www.brill.com/products/book/jewish-love-magic

 

Grants Awarded:

  • awarded January 2009: British Academy Small Research Grant (SG-52081), £5,000 for "Publication of Pre-Islamic Incantation Bowls"
  • awarded February 2011: British Academy Small Research Grant (SG-101726), £6,240 for "The Collection of Aramaic Incantations in the Berlin Museum", with Dan Levene (University of Southampton)
  • awarded January 2015: Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Grant (AH/M005704/1), £1,011,457 for "The Syriac Galen Palimpsest: Galen's On Simple Drugs and the Recovery of Lost Texts through Sophisticated Imaging Techniques, with Peter Pormann and William Sellers (University of Manchester)

 

Scientific Committee

  • Medioevo Romanzo e Orientale 

 

Editorial Board:

  • Near-Eastern Musicology Online (http://nemo-online.org/)

 

Academic Board:

  • International Conference of Near Eastern Archaeomusicology (http://www.iconea.org/)

 

Dissertations Examined:

  • D. Molin, The Language of the Biblical Hebrew Quotations in the Aramaic Incantation Bowls, MPhil, University of Cambridge, 2017
  • A. Bellusci, The History of the She'elat Ḥalom in the Middle East from the Medieval Era back to Late Antiquity, PhD, Tel Aviv University, 2017
  • S.C. Barry, The Question of Syriac Influence Upon Early Arabic Translations of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, PhD, University of Manchester, 2016
  • M.L. Morris, Translation and Critical Commentary of the Syriac Martyrdom Text, The Slave of Christ, PhD, University of Southampton, 2009
  • S. Aldihisi, The Story of Creation in the Mandaean Holy Book of the Ginza Rba, PhD, University College London, 2008
  • M. Schmierer, Selected Aspects of the Historical Phonology of Aramaic, MPhil, University of Cambridge, 2007

 

Research papers presented at the following meetings:

1998

  • British Comparative Literature Association Eighth International Conference, Lancaster, UK

1999

  • British Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Manchester, UK

2000

  • British Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Leeds, UK

2001

  • Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Rome, Italy

2002

  • British Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Southampton, UK
  • Aramith: Conference on Aramaic Lexicography, Sheffield, UK

2003

  • British Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Durham, UK
  • Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Cambridge, UK
  • History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Cambridge MA, USA

2004

  • American Association for the History of Medicine 77th Annual Meeting, Madison WI, USA
  • Society for Ancient Medicine European Meeting, Birmingham, UK
  • Ninth International Congress of Ethnobiology, Canterbury, UK
  • Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • The Nineteenth Barnard Medieval and Renaissance Conference, New York NY, USA
  • Interactions: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine Symposium, London, UK

2005

  • 12th Italian Meeting of Afroasiatic Linguistics, Ragusa, Sicily
  • The Fourteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, Israel

2006

  • Warburg Institute Colloquium: Ritual Healing in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, London, UK
  • 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies, London, UK
  • Mediterranean Editors and Translators Meeting, Barcelona, Spain

2007

  • Ninth workshop of the AHRC project Late Aramaic: The Linguistic and Literary Context of the Zohar, London, UK
  • Fourth Enoch Seminar: Enoch and Jubilees, Camaldoli, Italy

2008

  • Plants and Knowledge, Exeter, UK
  • Music in Sumer and after, International Conference of Near Eastern Archaeomusicology, British Museum, London, UK

2009

  • Talmudic Archaeology, Institute of Jewish Studies Summer Conference, University College London, UK
  • Comparative Organology, International Conference of Near Eastern Archaeomusicology, Sorbonne, Paris, France

2010

  • The Semitic Languages of Jewish Intellectual Production, Memorial for Dr F. Niessen, CCHS, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Approaches to Ancient Medicine, International Conference hosted at Cardiff University, UK
  • Aramaic Magical Texts from Late Antiquity: Sources, Contexts and Transmission, BIRAX workshop, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Musical Exchanges between Ancient Egypt and the Near East, International Conference of Near Eastern Archaeomusicology, Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Study, London

2011

  • Anglo-American Conference 2011: Health in History, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, London

2012

  • An Evening on Aramaic Incantation Bowls, Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Free University, Berlin
  • Simon of Genoa’s Medical Lexicon, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • British Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, London
  • ERC Workshop: Floriental, CNRS, Paris
  • Galen in Translation, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Safed

2013

  • American Oriental Society Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon
  • Congress of the International Organisation for the Study of the Old Testament/International Organisation for Targumic Studies, Munich
  • European Association for the Study of Religions Annual Conference, Liverpool
  • De Babylone à Bagdad: Retracer l’histoire de “l’herbier” au Proche-Orient ancien, Institut catholique de Paris, Paris
  • Les sciences en syriaque, Institut protestant de théologie, Paris
  • The Enochic Chronotope: Comprehending Immaterial Causes and Physical Space - an Apocryphal Discourse, Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Free University, Berlin

2014

  • Medical Translators at Work: Syriac, Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin Translations in Dialogue, Humboldt University, Berlin
  • Female Bodies and Female Practitioners in the Medical Traditions of the Late Antique Mediterranean World, Free University and Humboldt University, Berlin
  • Interpreting Galen, University of Exeter, Exeter 
  • Aksum, Himyar and Egypt: Merchants, trade, religion and the changing world of the city in the age of Justinian, The Warburg Institute, University of London

2015

  • Pseudo-Galenic Texts and the Formation of the Galenic Corpus, The Warburg Institute, University of London
  • The Use of Psalms in Jewish and Christian Traditions, Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary

2016

  • Revealing Galen's Simples, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Philadelphia, USA (paper read in absentia due to illness)

2017

  • Medical Traditions in and around Byzantium, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany
  • Rethinking Ancient Pharmacology: The Transmission and Interpretation of Galen's Treatise On Simple Drugs, British School at Rome, Rome, Italy

2018

  • Aramaic Science in Qumran, Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary (paper read in absentia) 

 

Invited Lectures and Seminars

2005

  • University of Durham Theology Research Seminar, Durham, UK

2006

  • Annual Joint Lecture of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society/Institute of Jewish Studies, London, UK
  • Lecture in series "Passover: Journey to Freedom", Jewish Museum, London, UK

2008

  • Lecture to United Learning, Kenton, Kingsbury, Wembley United Synogogues, London, UK
  • University of Southampton Medieval Research Seminar, Southampton, UK

2012

  • ICONEA Seminar, School of Advanced Study, London, UK

2013

  • Seminar to the Arabic Commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms project, John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK
  • Workshop at the Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, Piliscsabai, Hungary

2014

  • Seminar on Jewish History and Literature in the Graeco-Roman Period, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford, UK

2015

  • Lecture on the importance of magic bowls for biblical and other studies, Logos in Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • Lecture on the Aramaic magic bowls in the Schøyen Collection and their importance for the study of late antique Mesopotamia, London Centre for the Ancient Near East, SOAS, London, UK

2016

  • Patristic and Late Antique Seminar, Christ Church, Oxford, UK
  • Lecture on the importance of magic bowls for biblical and other studies, Logos in Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • Thesis Workshop: Magical Traditions and Medieval Religions of the Book, The Warburg Institute, University of London

2017

  • Lecture on the importance of magic bowls for biblical and other studies, Logos in Oxford, Oxford, UK

2018

  • Parkes Seminar Series, Parkes Institute for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton
  • Lecture on the importance of magic bowls for biblical and other studies, Logos in Oxford, Oxford, UK

 

Conferences/Symposia Organised

  • 2002 Aramith: Conference on Aramaic Lexicography, Sheffield, UK
  • 2005 Yale Semitics Seminar Symposium on the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Haven CT, USA
  • 2007 First International Genizah Studies Conference, Cambridge, UK
  • 2013 Demons and Illness: Theory and Practice from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period, Exeter, UK

 

Prizes

1996 Jews Commemoration Prize

1997 Hester Rothschild Scholarship

1997 Rosa Morrison Prize and UCL Faculty of Arts Medallion

Teaching

  • 2010 — Voted Department Tutor of the Year
  • 2012 — Shortlisted for Best Feedback Provider, Students' Guild Teaching Awards
  • 2012 — Also nominated for Best Lecturer
  • 2013 — Shortlisted for Best Feedback Provider, Students' Guild Teaching Awards
  • 2014 — Runner-up for Most Supportive Member of Staff, Students' Guild Teaching Awards
  • 2014 — Also nominated for Best Feedback Provider, Best Lecturer, Innovative Teaching, and Research Inspired Teaching
  • 2015 — Winner in the category of Most Supportive Member of Staff, Students' Guild Teaching Awards
  • 2015 — Also nominated for Best Feedback Provider, and Best Lecturer
  • 2016 — Nominated for Best Lecturer, Innovative Teaching, and Most Supportive Member of Staff.
  • 2017 — Nominated for Best Undergraduate Supervisor, Best Feedback Provider, and Most Supportive Member of Staff.
  • 2018 — Shortlisted for Most Supportive Member of Staff, Students' Guild Teaching Awards
  • 2018 — Also nominated for Most Supportive Personal Tutor 

 

 

Modules taught

Biography

Professor Siam Bhayro was appointed Associate Professor in Early Jewish Studies in 2016, having previously been Senior Lecturer since 2012 and Lecturer since 2007.

He graduated in 1997 with a First Class Honours degree in Hebrew from the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. He was also awarded the Faculty of Arts Prize and Medallion for that session. He gained a PhD from the same department in June 2000 for his research into the Book of Enoch.

For the next two years he worked on the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew at the University of Sheffield, before working for three years as Lector of Semitic Languages in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Yale University, one year as Wellcome Trust Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London and, finally before arriving at Exeter, one year as Research Associate at the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, University of Cambridge.

He can often be seen walking his Basenji, Tiglath-Pileser III, around Exeter, and is a season ticket holder for his beloved Arsenal.