The CBd
 
 
Magical gem: Sarapis, mummy, solar animals (A) Ares, Aphrodite, Horus, Hecate (B)
CBd-Number:
CBd-664
ID-Number:
GB-BM-MMEu_G 217, ΕA 56217
Collection:
GB_London, The British Museum
Inventory:
G 217 (ΕA 56217)
References:
Michel, BM, no. 278; Michel, DMG, no. 45.1.a_7
Former Collections:
Chester, Greville John (1830–1892)
Material:
haematite (black)
Dimensions:
27 x 16 x 3 mm
Dating:
3rd c. AD (Michel)
Iconography:
Sarapis; weapon: helmet; weapon: shield; Hecate; clothing: garment; modius; weapon: dagger; flail; Ares, Mars ultor-type; Ouroboros; Osiris?; clothing: bandage; torch, burning; scarab?; Aphrodite anadyomene; whip; throne; clothing: mantle; scepter, unspecified; animal: crocodile; animal: lion; moon, crescent; star; Harpocrates sitting on lotus flower; Harpocrates seated with knees drawn up; plant: lotus buds (2); solar disk; gesture, hand raised to mouth; side-lock of youth; gesture, lying
Divine Names & Voces:
Ἀβλαναθαναλβα, palindrome; Ἰάω; voces, unidentified; Βαϊνχωωωχ; αρρωριφρασις and variants; vocales, αεηιουω

A: Part of an Ouroboros, enclosing the represantation of Sarapis enthroned, holding a tall scepter in his left hand. Above the head of Sarapis, perhaps traces of a scarab with outstretched wings (cf. CBd-663). The throne of Sarapis rests on the back of a crocodile, facing left. Below the crocodile: mummy (Osiris?) lying head to left, carried by a lion walking also left. Inscription below the lion: ιαω → Ἰάω, rests of an inscription outside the Ouroboros. In the free field to the right of Sarapis, a small lying crescent, and an eight-pointed star above it. Below: inscription in seven lines: αεηιουω|εηιουω|ηιουω|ιουω|ουω||υω|ω → The Greek vowel series in pterygoma form. Greek letters around the edge, outside the Ouroboros: [---]εν[---] → Ἰαεω-palindrome, cf. CBd-663
B: Horus sitting nude, with knees drawn up, on a lotus flower with two buds represented on a baseline indicating the primeval mound(?). Head turned left and crowned with a solar disk, side-lock of youth visible. Right hand raised to mouth, left hand holding a flail. Beside the head, on the left: an eight-pointed star, on the right: a crescent. To the left of Harpocrates, two smaller figures: Aphrodite wearing himation, and touching her hair with her left hand; and Ares wearing a helmet and holding a shield in his left hand. To the right of Harpocrates Hecate trimorph clad in peplos and kolpos, her three right arms holding whip (lowermost), a burning torch (middle), and dagger (uppermost). Inscription at the top in three lines: αβλ[..]|αθανα[...] → αβ[αν]ναθανα[λβα], |αρρω[.] - at the bottom in two lines, to the left of the lotus flower: ιφρ|[.]σισ → αρρω[ρ]ιφρ[α]σις. To the right of the lotus flower, in three lines: [.....]|ωω|ωχ → [Βαϊνχ]ωωωχ.
C: Remains of an inscription running around the edge: .ζηδια...ξκωα.. → unidentified voces.
Based on similar representations, in which Sarapis leans on a scepter with an ibis at the top, and a passage in the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM V 446ff.), S. Michel raises the possibility of Sarapis being identified with Thoth, also mentioning the deity’s possible identification with Zeus/Hades and Kronos. On the other hand, the representation of Harpocrates on a lotus flower connects the gem with love charms. A praxis known from a papyrus (PGM LXI 1-38) specifies that love charms had to be incised with the image of Horus on a lotus flower and the magical name Abraxas. Pieces with the Horus-scheme used as love charms: CBd-533, CBd-534. The connection here is further reinforced by the representation of Aphrodite and Ares.

Bibliography
Michel, BM on CBd-664
The British Museum Collection database on CBd-664

Last modified: 2021-03-13 13:45:30
Link:cbd.mfab.hu/cbd/664
CITE THIS PAGE
CBd-664. The Campbell Bonner Magical Gems Database (2010-), developed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, editor-in-chief: Á. M. Nagy. Retrieved from: cbd.mfab.hu/cbd/664 on 02-10-2022.

Image-ID 7534

Credits Photo: Christopher A. Faraone

Rights © Trustees of the British Museum

Image-ID 7532

Credits Photo: Christopher A. Faraone

Rights © Trustees of the British Museum

Image-ID 7533

Credits Photo: Christopher A. Faraone

Rights © Trustees of the British Museum

Image-ID 671

Credits From Michel, BM

Rights © Trustees of the British Museum

Image-ID 2136

Rights © Trustees of the British Museum

Image-ID 672

Credits From Michel, BM

Rights © Trustees of the British Museum

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