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Amuletic Inscription
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Amuletic Inscription


Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This thin sheet of gold (lamella) is inscribed with Greek letters and magical symbols. The text, written by a professional scribe for a man named Proclus, contains a spell to ensure his victory in a trial before the military governor of the Roman province of Arabia. It ends with a curse on his opponents, whom he wishes silenced, subjugated, and enslaved. Tightly rolled, the inscription was originally held inside a small capsule and worn around the neck as an amulet.
Exhibitions
  • In Search of Ancient Treasure: 40 Years of Collecting. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1978.
  • Shrunken Treasures: Miniaturization in Books and Art. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009.
Provenance Robert Garrett, Baltimore, [date of acquisition unknown] by purchase; Garrett family, Baltimore, 1961, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1964, by gift.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Σαβαώθ εεεεε ηηη/ηη (magic signs) μ χ χ ψ / Ἀστραήλ, ηη οοο ψψω / (magic signs) Ἰάω, Σαβαώθ, Ἀμιωφεουευισ/αγιζου ηρα ηη ιουω τ δ / (magic signs) Ἀρτεν/χενμα Ζεμια Θωπτιεχω Βδητο/φωθ Βαθο (magic signs) Ἰάω, Σαβαώθ, / ια Ἰπιοθ ζ θ, ἅγιον καὶ ἰσχυρόν, κραταιὸν / καὶ μεγαλοδύναμον {ον} ὄνομα, δὸς χάριν, / δόξαν, νίκην Πρόκλῳ ὃν ἔτεκεν Σαλα/ουῖσα, ἐπὶ Διογενιανοῦ τοῦ δουκὸς Βόστρ/ων τῆς Ἀραβίας, ἐπὶ Πελαγίου τοῦ συνκαθέδρου / καὶ ἐπὶ πάντων ἀνθρώπων μικρῶν καὶ / μεγάλων, ἐπὶ θεῶν, ἐπὶ διαμόνων, ἵνα νι/κήσῃ δικαίως καὶ ἀδίκως πᾶσαν δίκη/ν, ἐπὶ παντὸς δικαστοῦ, ἐπὶ μαγίστρου, ἐπὶ / πάντων τῶν καθορώντων τὸν καὶ / ἀκουόντων αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν λόγων αὐτοῦ. / Σύνστησον αὐτὸν κραταιόν, ποίησον νι/κητὴν πάντων, μάλιστα δὲ Σαλαουῖνα/ς, ἣν ἔτεκεν Εὔα, τῆς τεκούσης Ἀβδανχα, / Βαλωνα, Μικκην, ἵνα νίκην λάβῃ Πρό/κλος ὃν ἔτεκεν Σαλανουίνη, καὶ δόξαν· καὶ φί/μωσον καὶ ὑπόταξον καὶ καταδούλωσον / Σαλουίνην, ἣ<ν> ἔτεκεν Εὔα, καὶ Αβαδανχα καὶ / Βαλωναν καὶ Μικκην οὓς ἔτεκεν Σαλουῖ/να καὶ πάντας ἔχθρους καὶ ἀντιδίκους καὶ / φίλους καὶ Διογενιανὸν τὸν ἄρχοντα καὶ / Πελάγιον, τὸν σχολαστικὸν αὐτοῦ, συν/κάθεδρον, καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἐξ ἐναντίας / μικροὺς καὶ μεγάλους, ἄνδρας καὶ γυναῖκας / καὶ νήπια, πάντας τοὺς ὁρῶντας Πρόκλον ὃν {ε} / ἔτεκεν Σαλαουίνα, τὸν φοροῦντα σου τὴν / ἅγιαν καὶ ἀνίκητον δύναμιν. Καὶ δὸς δύν/αμιν, <ν>ίκην, χάριν, θράσος, τόλμαν, φόβον / κα{ι}τὰ πάντων, ἐπὶ πάσης τύχης καὶ ψυξῆς, / ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ, κατὰ πᾶσαν ὥραν / καὶ ἡμέραν καὶ νύκτα· καὶ μήδ᾿ ἃν εἷς / ἀντιπράξῃ ἢ ἀντίπῃ ἢ ἀντιβουλεύσητα<ι> / ἐν μηδενὶ τὸ σύνολον, ἀλλὰ ἐπὶ νίκην, / χάριν, δόξαν, δύναμιν, τῷ φοροῦντι σου / τὴν δόξαν, ἤδη ἤδη, ταχὺ ταχύ, ἀμήν. [Translation] Holy and strong, mighty and great-powerful Name, give favor, glory, victory to Proclus whom Salvina bore, before Diogenianus the dux of Bostra in Arabia; before Pelagius the assessor; and before all men small and great; before gods; before demons, in order that he might be justifiably or unjustifiably victorious in any judgment before any judge, before a magister, before all who observe him and who hear him and his words. Establish him strong. Make [him] a victor over everyone, particularly over Salvina, whom ‘Eve’ bore, who bore Abdancha, Balona, Mikke; in order that Proclus, whom Salvina bore, might receive victory and glory. Silence, subjugate, and enslave Salvina, whom ‘Eve’ bore; and Abdancha and Balona and Mikke, whom Salvina bore; and all enemies, opponents, and associates; and Diogenianus the ruler; and Pelagius his scholasticus, and assessor; and all opposing parties, small and great; men, women, and children – all who are watching Proclus, whom Salvina bore, the one bearing your holy and unconquerable power. And give [him] power, victory, favor, courage, boldness, [raising] awe in everyone, in all fortune and life, in every place, according to every hour, both day and night. And may no one act in opposition in anything at all except for the victory, favor, glory, power for the one bearing your glory; now, now; quickly, quickly, quickly. Amen!
Credit Gift of the children of Robert Garrett, 1964

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Creators
Period
4th century (Late Antique)
Accession Number
57.1960
Measurements
H: 3 1/8 x W: 1 11/16 in. (7.9 x 4.3 x 0.1 cm)
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