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E01155: Bronze leaf with a charm invoking God, the Archangels *Michael (S00181) and *Raphael (S00481), and other figures, as protectors from injuries. Probably Christian, Jewish or syncretistic. Found at Hierapolis (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 26.02.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
A bronze leaf, folded and enclosed in a silver tube. H. 0.082 m; W. 0.041 m. Found in a tomb, in the northern necropolis at Pamukkale (ancient Hierapolis).

Inscription:

ἐνορκίζομαί
σοι τὸν θεὸν τ̣ὸ-
ν κτίσαντα τὴν ̣γ-
4 ̣ῆν καὶ τοὺς οὐ-
ρανούς, ἐνορ-
κίζομαί σο-
ι τοὺς ἀγγέλο-
8 υς ̣Χερουβειν,
ἄνω ἁρμον-
ίαν, Μιχαήλ,
̣Ῥ̣α̣φαήλ, Ἀβ-
12 ρασαξ . . . [. .]
ἀποστραπῆναι ἀ̣π[ὸ]
̣τ̣ραυματίου

'I adjure you by God who founded the earth and the heavens, I adjure you by the angels, Cherubim, the harmony (above?), Michael, Raphael, Abrasax, [- - -] to be averted fro[m] injury.'

Text and translation: Aydaş 2004, no. 6.

History

Evidence ID

E01155

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181 Raphaēl, the Archangel : S00481

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ Ῥαφαήλ

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.) Literary - Magical texts and amulets

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

200

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

200

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Hierapolis

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Hierapolis Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Miracles

Exorcism

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Other

Discussion

The inscription is a charm that was presumably used by its owner in life as an amulet protecting him/her from injuries. Lines 10-11 contain the names of Michael and Raphael the archangels, but Angelos Chaniotis and Ioannis Mylonopoulos doubt the purely Christian character of this text. This is because lines 11-12 contain a reference to Abrasax, a creature known from magical spells. They say that the charm could have been made by a Jewish or pagan (syncretistic) magician. The inscription was, nevertheless, conditionally included in the Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database by Ulrich Huttner. For the (ἐν)ορκίζω formula, see: E00798, E01296.

Bibliography

Edition: Aydaş, M., "New Inscriptions from Asia Minor", Epigraphica Anatolica 37 (2004), no. 6. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 930: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/930 Further reading: Chaniotis, A., Mylonopoulos, J., "Epigraphic Bulletin for Greek Religion, 2004", Kernos 20 (2007), 245, no. 11. Huttner, U., "Der Fluch des Apostels. Magie in den Philipusakten", in: L. Popko and others (eds.) Von Sklaven, Pächtern und Politikern. Beiträge zum Alltag in Ägypten, Griechenland und Rom. Δουλικὰ ἔργα zu Ehren von Rheinhold Scholl (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012), 25-26, note 45. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 54, 1344.

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