The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 58.

ο and θ are broadly rhombic, almost square, with an angle downward. If not from the same workshop, the two amulets must at least represent a similar tradition of the craft.
On the reverse side of D. 101 is the inscription αζαζ αραθ βαχυ. Under the χ the engraver seems to have cut a short stroke for the final χ which would be expected (βαχυχ), but did not finish the letter. βαχυχ occurs often in the sequence χυχ βαχυχ κτλ., which is most commonly associated with lion-headed gods and other solar deities. The words αζαζ αραθ have been noted together only here and on the reverse of the Athenian gem (No. 615), which Delatte considered a representation of the Headless God; its obverse is inscribed βαχυχ.31 A different view will be developed later under the head of “Aggressive Magic” (Chapter VIII). In the Michigan stone the words are associated with the solar demon Chnoubis. ὁ θεὸς Ἀραθ is invoked in PGM XIII, 592 (cf. 79), words addressed to the sun-god as creator.
Another variant of the Chnoubis type gives the snake a human head surrounded by rays. A rather crude specimen in the Southesk collection (N 9) shows the head in front view, with the tail coiled as in many of the lion-headed types. The inscription σεμεσειλαμψ links it with several other Chnoubis stones bearing that word, which, however, occurs also with other types, notably Harpocrates and the cock-headed god. A neatly cut small chalcedony in my possession shows a snake in a crawling position with a youthful human head (radiate) in profile. There is no inscription, but the sign  on the reverse marks it as a Chnoubis type. Finally, there is a well-cut bloodstone in the collection of Professor A. B. Cook on which the snake crawls to the left as in mine, but the head is turned so as to show the full face. The name Chnoubis does not occur on this specimen, and the inscriptions, though well known from both gems and papyri, are found in connection with various other types and appear to have no special appropriateness with this design.32
An odd fancy of the engraver appears on two Chnoubis amulets. The human-headed serpent in the Southesk collection (N 9) is coiled round “five small ovoids.” They must surely be eggs, which the snake is guarding. A very well cut stone in the Michigan collection (D. 91) shows several eggs round or between the coils of a lion-headed snake.
Still another variant of the serpentine god appears on a few gems. Only one example of it has been published in a satisfactory manner, No. N 10 in the Southesk collection. The central design is a serpent apparently swathed like a mummy; all but a small part of the creature is shown erect, facing outward, only a slight curl at the lower right indicating the remainder of the snaky tail. The snake has a human face surrounded by seven rays, above which is an inscription that the editor read, somewhat hesitatingly, as σε-

31 BCH 38 (1914), 189; Musée Belge, 18 (1914), 39.
32 The obverse inscription is an inexact version of the formula which usually appears as ιαpβαθaγραμνηφιβαωχνημεω (cf. Southesk N 78, 79, 80, and King, Gnostics, Pl. H 1). On the reverse is the much commoner ακραμμαχαμαρει.

Last modified: 2012-11-05 10:41:17

Related objects: 1 item(s)