by Raspe; δόται (l. δότε) χάριν τοῖς φοροῦσι πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους is cut round the edge of a reverse type representing a serpent-headed demon; the obverse represents Harpocrates on the lotus attended by an adoring baboon and a serpent-headed god like the one on the reverse.17
On the other hand, the scope is narrowed to one person in an important heliotrope of the British Museum, which is virtually a love charm.18
The obverse shows Harpocrates seated on a lotus in a papyrus boat, and playing on a flute. The reverse has a ring of characters, and inside that, cut in a spiral, the words δὸς χάριν Θεανοῦτι πρὸς Σεραπάμμωνα. Different from the charms aimed at a single desired lover are several which were evidently worn by women who received many lovers; in such cases χάρις is “charm” as well as “favor.” Thus we find on another amulet in the same collection a long palindrome (the formula beginning Iaeobaphrenemoun
) followed by the words δόται χάριν Ἡρωνίλλᾳ πρὸς πάντας; the obverse type is the pantheos holding a lion and a scorpion and standing on a cartouche which encloses indistinct representations of several animals.19
With this we may compare the petition δός μοι χάριν Διονυσιάτι κύριε θεὲ ἤδη πρὸς πάντες (for πάντας) on a gem in the Ashmolean Museum (D. 7
). The god invoked would seem to be Osiris, since the obverse type is the mummy of that deity lying in a boat supported by Anubis. But before the petition just cited there are several well-known magical formulas, one of which, βριντατηνωφρι, Perdrizet has connected with Chnum (Chnoubis).20
A hetaira who looked to the coming years with some forebodings may have ordered the inscription (Southesk coll. N 51) συντήρησόν με ἀγήρατον κεχαριτωμένην, “Keep me ever young and charming” (preceded by two voces magicae
). The divine type in this case is Helios or, as the editor thought, Horus as Helios.
The frequent, though not regular, occurrence of Horus-Harpocrates with these δὸς χάριν charms is probably significant; it will be remembered that stelae of Horus give us the pantheos type, which appears once as one of the exceptions, and that an identification of Helios with Horus may account for another. The youthful god, who is assimilated to Eros, is a natural patron for such prayers.
In addition to χάρις, “favor,” a petitioner prays for νίκη, “victory,” in two other inscriptions which are so closely similar, even to errors and the arrangement of letters in the lines, that they might have come from the same workshop. The obverse types, however, are different; in one example re-
17 R. E. Raspe, Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Ancient Gems Cast by James Tassie (London, 1791), No. 354, PL 8.
18 B. M. 56283. Formerly in the collection of Feuardent. In his Mélanges d'épigraphie et d'archéologie, pp. 6–7, W. Froehner wrongly read θεὰ Νοῦτι (vocative). But the ancient goddess Nut is not likely to have been invoked in such a charm and, on the other hand, Θεανοῦς, as the papyri show, was a common name in Egypt; see Preisigke, Namenbuch, s.v.
19 B. M. 56012. The name has been read Ἡρωνίμα by others who have referred to the gem, but, I think, wrongly; further, Ἡρωνίμα is a doubtful formation, while Ἡρωνίλλα has a parallel in Ἀμωνίλλα (Preisigke, Namenbuch, s.v.). Cf. also Ἡρωνῖνος, where a Latin formative element has been added to a non-Latin name.
20 Mélanges Maspero, II, 137–144.