The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 49.

ported by that very poor witness Capello,21 it is the cock-headed demon with snake legs; in the other, in the Correr collection, it is the lion-headed serpent, Chnoubis.22 The very corrupt text is probably a garbled version of δός μοι χάριν νίκην ὅτι εἴρηκά σου τὸ κρυπτὸν καὶ ἀληθινὸν (?) ὄνομα ἤδη ἤδη ταχύ, followed by some completely unintelligible letters. The Capello gem had on the bevel the name Ἀλεξάνδρα, apparently preceded by a Roman gentile name, perhaps βία. A less amiable aspect of the prayer for victory is presented by a jasper published by Vincent from the Clark collection in Jerusalem: βορβοροντοκομβα Iαω δὸς ἐμοὶ Ἀπολλωνίῳ τὸ νεῖκος κατὰ πάσης ψύχης τῆς ἀντιπασχούσης μοι, where νεῖκος (νῖκος) is a late Koine form used for νίκη; the obverse type, an eagle, has no special meaning here.23
A carnelian of more than ordinary interest was sent me for examination some fifteen years ago by a private owner with whom I have since lost touch (D. 192). The obverse shows Harpocrates seated on a lotus flower in the usual attitude and with the ordinary attributes of disk, flail whip, and, in the field, star and crescent. In addition, at the lower left, opposite the base of the lotus, there is a head of the moon-goddess with a crescent over her forehead. There must have been on the other side a bust of the sun-god, now destroyed by a flaking of the stone. On the reverse is the inscription σαλαμαξα δὸς χάριν πόρον ἐπιτυχίαν ιωη. I know of no other occurrence of πόρος, “means,” and ἐπιτυχία, “success,” in such petitions. Salamaxa may be a magical name of Harpocrates; but it occurs also on a stone in my possession which represents Min (formerly Wyndham Cook 249, where it is wrongly described). There may have been a tendency to merge the ancient Min in Horus; but Salamaxa may be merely a “word of power.”
A considerable number of amulets bear in the field of the obverse, or, much more commonly, on the reverse, the words ἡ χάρις, which would seem to be another form of the prayer for favor; certainly the nominative case cannot be used as an argument against that interpretation, for we find δύναμις on a stone in the British Museum, and τύχη on one in the Michigan collection; in both cases the type contains a figure of Anubis.24 But the use of the definite article before χάρις suggests that this inscription stands on a different footing from the formula δὸς χάριν, with its variations; and it is at least probable that a religious concept is present, a hypostatized Charis, which enters into the Gnostic mythology. For this reason this particular inscription will be discussed in connection with religious elements and ideas.
Besides the circumstance that the benefit sought is general, several of these inscriptions have another feature in common, namely, that while a blessing is asked “for the bearer,” he is not named. Obviously the more general the possible uses of an amulet, the more readily could it be sold to any pur-

21 Capello, Prodromus Iconicus, No. 14.
22 V. Lazari, Notizie delle opere d'arte ... della Raccolta Correr (Venezia, 1859), 126, 571.
23 Rev. biblique, N. S. 5 (1908), 412 ff. For a magical word resembling that at the beginning of this formula, and a possible explanation of it, see my note in Byz.-neugriech. Jahrb., 9 (1932), 376 f.
24 B. M. 56038, reverse; obverse, Anubis holding up mummy of Osiris. On the Michigan specimen (D. 37), τύχη is inscribed in the field of the obverse, which shows Anubis with situla and was scepter.

Last modified: 2012-11-05 10:32:52

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