Archive issues

Author: Joachim Śliwa   |   Pages: 679–684


 

Abstract

In 1908 Tadeusz Smoleński (1884–1909) came into possession of a magical/gnostic gem measuring 26 x 14 x 4mm and most probably made of yellow jasper. The front of the gem was decorated by a motif of Eros/Amor riding a lion. The back side contained a magical text written in Greek letters and arranged into seven verses. Smoleński properly classified the object although he had some trouble with correct interpretation of particular elements of the text. Due to the fact that the gem is only attested by a brief publication by T. Smoleński (ASAE 9, 1908, pp. 92–93), an attempt has been made to recreate the gem’s decoration as well as an interpretation of the text based on the current state of knowledge, nowadays offering much wider possibilities. The last three verses are especially noteworthy, since the following voces magicae may be identified there: Marmaraiôth, Bainchôôôch, Nicharôplêx. We also need to add that the figural decoration of the gem had been created earlier (first century AD), while the text was added much later, around the third century AD.

 

 

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