The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 60.

for pains in the lungs and sides; this stone would seem to be of gray or bluish color.37 In the lapidarium of Socrates and Dionysius it is said that the Chnoubis design should be cut on λίθος ὀνυχίτης ... λευκὸς καὶ διαυγὴς καθάπερ ἀήρ, which would seem to correspond best to translucent white or light-gray chalcedony.38
The materials actually used for the type of the lion-headed snake cover a fairly wide range, and yet there are certain manifest preferences. Commonest of all is chalcedony, white, gray, blue, pale yellow, and smoky brown; next, probably, green jasper, plasma, chrysolite, and prase. There are also some specimens on agate and on black jasper and obsidian, and I have seen several on stones that had been so altered by heat, whether purposely or accidentally applied, that the original color and even the material could not be readily determined. Yellow jasper is rare, red jasper probably rarest of all.39 There is so much irregularity about all magical amulets that we should hesitate to treat an unusual material as a ground for suspicion of forgery, yet I should now examine red stones showing the lion-headed Chnoubis with more than ordinary care. However, it may be noted that the variant type of the human-headed Chnoubis is done on red carnelian in the case of the Southesk specimen (N 10); the material of that published by Matter is not recorded.
3. Another type of digestive amulet is represented, so far as I know, by only a few specimens; there is reason to think that all came from Syria, though the subjects are Egyptian. The best preserved is in my collection (D. 103). It has in its central design a crane with seven rays round the head (the phoenix) looking to left, and standing on an ovoid object possibly meant for a globe; but one thinks also of the egg shaped from myrrh in which, according to Herodotus, the young phoenix placed the body of his dead father.40 This egg rests upon the broad top of an altar supported by a narrower, columnar, base. Above the head of the phoenix is a scarab beetle with extended wings, at each side of the head, a bird of uncertain kind (apparently they are not hawks); the one on the right seems to be holding something in his beak. On each side of the phoenix's legs is what seems to be a conventionalized worm or snake in the shape of a tall reversed S made of short straight lines instead of a continuous curve. Still farther away, beyond these stylized reptiles, is a scorpion near each edge of the stone. Similarly placed on each side of the altar is a thick-bodied snake, and below the altar is a crocodile, its head to the right. A noteworthy feature of the design is the stylizing of the phoenix, which is given excessive length of neck and legs as if to harmonize with the long narrow form of the stone. The reverse has the word πεπτε crudely engraved, and below it the symbol that usually accompanies Chnoubis, a straight line crossed by three broken ones.
Father Mouterde has called my attention to another specimen of this type, formerly in the Sarrafian collection in Beirut, and has kindly allowed

37 Marcellus 20, 98; 24, 7.
38 Mély-Ruelle, II, 177.
39 Yellow jasper, B. M. 56429; red, B. M. 56229.
40 Herodotus 2, 73.

Last modified: 2015-02-10 10:57:36

Related objects: 7 item(s)

Library references: 2 item(s)