amulet under the inscription; but, although there are numerous scratches and a few poorly cut letters, they were evidently made later than the carefully formed letters of the inscription above. It is more likely that the symbols and names were on the other side of the amulet; that, however, cannot be proved, for the corrosion has been even more destructive there. A few letters survive, but the combinations are unpronounceable as well as unintelligible; for example, βχζοκ is clearly legible in one line of an inscription in a less damaged spot. Those letters can scarcely have had any meaning unless, with the rest of the inscription, they were in some kind of cipher. There are also some traces that look like the lower part (kilt and legs) of a demonic figure outlined in points, a technique that has been observed on another bronze amulet.
A charm of a peculiar kind is engraved on a pendant with unusual features which call for description in detail.35
Both sides of the plaque, a rather narrow ellipse, are divided into two registers by a horizontal line. On the obverse, above, an ass-headed god who has an uncertain object projecting over his shoulder — perhaps a crudely drawn whip — leans forward towards a lion, holding his right hand before his own head, almost touching the lion. It may be meant for the gesture of proskynesis, in which the finger tips touch the lips. Between the god and the animal stands a short, pointed pillar with a slight horizontal projection at each side. The god can only be meant for Set or — if the head is not that of an ass but of a dog or jackal — for Anubis. In either case the scene may represent homage to the lion as a symbol of the sun. Certainly there is a relic of paganism in this part of the design, although in the lower register we see the familiar figure of the rider with nimbus transfixing the evil spirit, and a few letters of the usual inscription, “One God who overcomes all ills.” One might think of the Sethian Gnostics as possible authors of such a combination, but it is probably merely a product of crude syncretism in which Christian and pagan elements were blended, with no informing doctrinal principle.
In the upper compartment of the reverse is a curiously looped curve, perhaps a symbol of binding, the idea from which the common ring signs were derived. Round it are signs that may be meant for the letters theta and omicron, and a circle with crossed diameters.
In the lower register is an inscription, under which stands a lion facing to right. The text belongs to that curious class, of incantations in which a fragment of a story is told, either an allusion to a myth or sacred legend, or else a simple childish tale.36
Inscriptions belonging, as this text does, to the last group, are often little more than nonsense, and it is wasted labor to try to extract a connected and logical meaning from them. In the present instance the indistinctness of some letters makes matters worse. I read it as follows:
λυκος πινω|νων εβωσ|κετο πινω|υδωρ διψω|αρτον φαω.
36 For several examples of these curious fragmentary narratives see Heim, Incantamenta magica, pp. 495–507 (Jahrb. Suppl. 11).