Bonner, SMA – PDF, 84.
established; and the most cogent proofs of it that are used here have been drawn from his article, though it has been possible to supplement them materially and to correct one or two minor details of his work.21 Delatte recognized the importance of the unjustly suspected amulet published by Du Molinet, and corroborated its evidence by other significant inscriptions. One of the Athenian amulets published by him (No. 33) has on its reverse side, in addition to the usual Ορωριουθ, Ιαω, Σαβαωθ, one or two other magical words, and a palindrome. Then follow the words στάλητι (for στάληθι) μήτρα.22 Another example of the type has στάλητι without μήτρα (No. 34). The passive of στέλλω must mean here “be contracted,” that is, return to the normal condition after the dilatation caused by pregnancy or the ordinary periodic function.23
A curious development of this command is inscribed on a stone in the Cairo Museum.24 Barry, who published it, read ΑΤΑΛΑΣΗΣΟΡΩΡΙΟΥΘΣΙΜΗΘΙΜΗΙΓΑΜΣΙΣΕΤΥΦΩΝ. This is arranged in two circles, and Barry unfortunately began with the inner, although spiral inscriptions read from the outside to the center as often as or oftener than the reverse. The right reading is almost certainly στάλητι μήτρα (correctly read by Delatte) μή σε Τυφῶν καταλάβῃ Ορωριουθ, “Contract, womb, lest Typhon seize upon you.”25 The last word is added merely as a name of power to enforce the charm. The kappa of καταλάβῃ, which was missed by both Barry and Delatte, is to be seen on the plate; it is in the outer circle between the sigma of στάλητι and the nu of Τυφῶν; all that follows the kappa is in the inner circle. It should be observed that the figure on the obverse, standing on the vessel, is not Anubis, as Barry thought, but the ass-headed Set, as we might expect from the reference to Typhon in the inscription.
An amulet in the collection of Mr. Joseph Brummer (D. 140) confirms the reading of the inscription on the Cairo stone. Its obverse calls for little remark; the uterine symbol is flattish, and the “key” lacks the usual upward stroke for the handle, being a mere horizontal projection. On the reverse an easily legible spiral inscription reads Ορωριουθ Σαβαωθ στάλητι μήτρα μή σε Τυφῶν καταλάβῃ. It encloses a scarab with extended wings, but with the head of a crowned hawk; below it is a uterine symbol of another kind, which will be discussed later. It roughly resembles an octopus, with
21 A. Delatte, Musée Belge, 18 (1914), 75–88. This chapter, “La Clef de la matrice,” is one of the subdivisions of the author's series of studies on Greek magic. For the complete list see Musée Belge, 26, 252, n. 1. The amulets published by Delatte for the first time belong to the National Museum in Athens; a few others, which had been briefly described by Svoronos, belong to the Numismatic Museum.
22 Delatte, op. cit., p. 76. It is unnecessary to assume, as he does (p. 82), that στάλητι is a corruption of στάθητι.
23 In medical language στέλλω evidently meant to exercise an astringent, contracting, or reducing influence upon swollen or inflamed tissues; cf. Diosc. 5, 135, στέλλει δὲ καὶ οὖλα.
24 Barry, Ann. du serv., 7 (1906), 46, No. 3; Delatte, op. cit., p. 80, where Barry's stone is mentioned by an oversight as No. 4.
25 In an effort to check the text I made an inquiry some years ago of the officials of the Cairo Museum, hoping to obtain a new photograph or at lent a new reading of the inscription; but the stone had been temporarily misplaced and could not be found. I hope that it has since reappeared and that some archaeologist may examine it again.