C. Bonner, Amulets Chiefly in the British Museum, Hesperia 20, 1951, 301-345
, 301-345, no 41.
Obv. Composite figure with head and neck of a cobra, the body of a scarabaeus, to the lower part of which two wings are attached on each side, and the legs and feet of a man. There is a disk over the cobra's head. The figure has four arms. The upper pair hold tall scepters with trident like tops. The lower r. hand holds a dagger, the lower l. an uncertain object, perhaps a sistrum, perhaps a knife with broad, triangular blade; cf. the knives held by the god on the reverse of the Metternich stele, and also our No. 42 /CBd-557/
Rev. σουμαρθα φηλιξ αβραξας.
Lapis lazuli. Upright oval, 18 x 15. The inscription on the reverse is noteworthy as introducing a Latin word (felix
) in transliteration, and as supplying an instance of the spelling αβραξας, the only one, so far as I know, that has been found on an amulet; it was apparently the form better known to the Latin Christian writers (Iren. adv. haer
. 1.19.4; Hier. Epist
. 75.3.1; Comm. in Amos, PL
25, 1018 D; contra Lucif
. 23, PL 23.178 A; Ps. Tertull. adv. omn. haer
. 1). The word σουμαρθα or σουμαρτα occurs on other amulets and in magical papyri. Since forms of φυλάσσω, "guard," are common on amulets, one is tempted to suggest a connection between σουμαρθα and the Hebrew radical šmr
, "guard," "watch over." Compare the reverse inscription of No. 45 /CBd-571/