E01318.jpg (120.63 kB)

E01318: A lead leaf and a lead tablet with similar Greek popular exorcisms, invoking *Michael (the Archangel, S00181), *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), *Ouriel (the Archangel, S00770), *Raphael (the Archangel, S00481), *Enoch (Old Testament patriarch, S00762), *Elijah (Old Testament prophet, S00217), and *Isaiah (Old Testament prophet, S00282). Said to have been found near Trikomo (Cyprus). Probably 7th-8th c.

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posted on 29.04.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
The spelling of both charms is very poor. Therefore, we offer here a modified version, following the rules of classical Greek spelling, as edited by Sergio Giannobile and D.R. Jordan:

Charm 1:

Side A:

[εὐχὴ] τοῦ δούλου τοῦ θ(εο)̣ῦ Ἰωά[ννου] τοῦ ἐλε[ου]-
[μένου], Κ(ύριο)ς ὁ θ(εό)ς· κατερχόμενος Μιχαὴ[λ] ὁ ἀρχάγγε̣λ̣ος ἀ[πὸ]
[τοῦ ὄ]ρους τοῦ Σινᾶ ηὗρε τὴν Αβιζου ἔχουσαν τὰ[ς] τρίχα[ς]
αὑτῆς ἕως τῶν πτερνῶν αὑτῆς καὶ τοὺς ὀφθ-
[αλμοὺς] αὐτῆς πεπυρομένους σφόδρα· καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ Μιχα̣ὴ[λ]
ὁ ἀρχάγγελος· ποῦ πορεύῃ; ἐγὼ ἀπέρχω
[εἰσελ]θ(εῖν) εἰς τὸν οἶκον ὡς ὄφις καὶ ὡς δράκων καὶ ὡς τετρά̣π[οδον]
[- - -]θην· {ε} ἐγὼ ποιῶ τὰς γυναῖκας πληγάς, ἐγὼ ποιῶ ̣α[ὐτὰς]
[καρ]δίαν πονῆσαι καὶ γάλα <---> φρῖξαι δυνάστας τοῦ οἴ̣κ[ου]
[ὑπά]γω {ε} ἐξαλεῖψαι· ἐγὼ ποιῶ
[τὰ νή]πια ΕΟΗΝΕΗ καὶ πάλιν ποιῶ αὐτὰ καλὰ τοφ[- - -]
[- - -] αὐτῆς· ἀκούει, Πεταξαρεα, ἔτασαι κατασκευ[ήν]·
[ὅτε γὰρ] ἔτεκεν ἡ ἁγία Μαρία τὸν Λόγον τῆς ἀληθεία[ς],
[ἀπῆλθον α]ὐτὴν πλα[ν]ῆσαι καὶ οὐδὲν ̣πλανωμένη ηδ.[- - -]
[Μιχαὴ]λ ὁ ἀρχάγγελος ὑπήντησεν αὐτῆς καὶ δ[- - -]
[ἐκ τῶν] δεξιῶν πλοκάμων καὶ [λ]̣έ[γει] αὐτ-
ῆς {ης} Μιχα(ὴ)λ ὁ ἀρχάγγ[ε]λος
[μ]οι ὁμολογήσῃς εἰς τὸ π[οί]ου θ(εο)ῦ πιστεύεις καὶ πησα[- - -]
[- - -]. ε ποῦ τὴ(ν) δύναμι(ν) ἔχ[εις . .] μὴ ἀναχωρήσῃ(ς) ἀπὸ [- - -]
[- - -] θ(εο)̣ῦ Ἰωάν(ν)ου ο<ὐ>κ εἶπέν μοι ὁ θ(εὸ)ς τοῦ ἀπολῦσαί σε καὶ απ[- - -]
[- - -] πνεῦμα καὶ λέγει τῷ ἀρχα(γ)γέ̣λῳ· μὰ τὸν ὀφθαλμὸ[ν]
[τῶν κ]ητῶν καὶ τὸν βραχίονα τὸν ὑψηλόν, ἀλήθειαν λέγω τ[- - -]
[- - -] οὐ ψεύ̣δομαι ἐάν τις δύνατε, καταγράψεστε τὰ[- - -]
καλον[- - -]
[οὐ]κ εἶπεν μοι ὁ θ(εὸ)ς τοῦ <- - -> ἀδικῆσαι τοῦ δούλου τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ Ἰωάννου
[- - -]ο· εἰς τὸ {τ} α΄ πρῶτον ὄνομα αὐτῆς, ἀκούει, Γηλος, τὸ β΄ .[- - -]
[- - -]ηζος, τὸ δ΄ Αρηανη, τὸ πέμπτον Αλεοτος, τὸ ἕκτον Αρηαν[- , τὸ]
[ἕβδομ]ον Μμαρμαρην, τὸ ὄγ̣δοον Σαλαμηανη, τὸ ἔνατον ε.[-, τὸ]
[δ]έκατον Γυμιν, τὸ ἑνδέκατον ̣Εμαβηζος, τὸ δωδέκατον Τανα̣β[- - -]
[- - -]ος· ἐξορκισμὸς τοῦ ἀρχαγγέλου πρὸς τὰς γηλοδας ἐ[ξο]̣ρκ[ίζω]
[- - -]κατὰ τοῦ παντοκράτορος θ(εο)ῦ καὶ εἰς τὸ καταπέ[τασ]μα το[ῦ]
[θυσ]ιαστηρίου, ἐξορκίζω ἡσᾶς τὸν στρα̣μοτα κε βεχ̣ο[- - -]
[ἐξορ]κίζω ἡσᾶς τοὺς γ΄ ἀγγέλοντα [. .] κατὰ Ενοχ καὶ Ηληα καὶ Ησ[αηα?]
[- - -]ος κατὰ πάντων ε[. . . .] ̣πατας ἐξο(ρκίζω) ἡ(σ)ᾶς τοὺς ἀποκτείνο[ντας]
[- - -].ο δηαβολ[.] ατενατ ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἀπολυόμενα κατὰ ̣τ[- - -]
[- - -].ο, ̣ἐξορκίζω ἡσᾶς τοῦς δ΄ στύλους τοὺς ἀδαμαντίνους τοὺς [- - -]
[- - -] βαστάζοντας τὸ ὑποπόδιον τοῦ δεσπότου θ(εο)ῦ ὑμνοῦντας καὶ
λέγοντας· ἅγιος ἅγιος ἅγιος Κ(ύρι)ε Σαβαωθ καὶ ὢν δέσπο-
τα ῥῦσαι τὸν δοῦλον σου Ἰωάννην ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ καὶ ἀκαθ[ά]-
ρτου πνεύματος καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν γηλωδων καὶ ἀπὸ πάσης δ̣ι-
αβολικῆς φαντασίας ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου πνεύματος
ἐγὼ Ἰωάννης ἐπεκαλεσάμην καὶ εἶπον καὶ δεῖξό̣ν
̣μοι τοὺς ἀγγέλους τοὺς προηγουμένους ητην ἐν-
ώπιον τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ καθέκαστον ἅγιο[ς] ̣λ̣έ̣γοντες καὶ[- - -]
[- - - ἀ]πεκά[λυ]ψε μοι ο.[- -].ε.[- -] αυτ[- - -]
[- - -] ἄγγελοι [- -]̣μ̣ε[- - -]

Side B:

[- - -] ἅγιος λέ[γοντες - - -]
[- - -]. Ου̣ρ[ι]ιὴλ Ῥαφαὴ̣λ [- - -]
[- - -]̣εθμαε. .[- -]̣λμ[.]τεμηλ με̣πηλ[- - -]
[- - -].[- -]ανασα.[- -]η καθεῖς ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ημε[.]ε[- - -]
[- - -]̣θλη[.]εος καὶ λυτρώσω τέ σε καὶ δοξάσης αὐτὸς τη[- - -]
[- - -]̣οησοσα. ἐπικαλοῦμαι, ἅγιοι ἄγγελοι τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ, ητη χ(ίλιοι) ἀρχά[γγελοι]
[- - -]ξοτες παρὰ τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ συ παρεστάθητε καὶ ἐλυτρώσα[σ-]
θε τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ Ἰωάννην ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ καὶ ἀκαθάρ[τ]-
ου πνεύματος καὶ ἀπὸ πάσις διαβολικῆς φαντασία-
ς καὶ δοξάσω ἡσὰς ετηζοην +++

A20. ΟΚ Giannobile || Α31-32. εἰς τὸ καταπέ[τασ]μα το[ῦ | θυσ]ιαστηρίου Rizos, εἰς τὸ κατὰ πε[- -]ματο[- - - |- - -]ηα στηρηο Giannobile || Α34. ἀποκτείνο[ντας] Rizos, αποκτηνο[- - -] Giannobile || Α37. βαστάζοντας Rizos, . . ταξοντας Giannobile || Α45. [- - - ἀ]πεκά[λυ]ψε μοι Rizos, [- - -]πεκα[. . .]ψε μυ Giannobile || B5. δοξάσης = δοξάσεις, Chaniotis in SEG

Side A: '[Prayer] of the servant of G(o)d, Ioa[nnes] the mis[erable]. G(o)d is the L(or)d: Descending f[rom M]ount of Sinai, Michae[l] the Archangel found (the demon) Abyzou with her hai[r] reaching her feet/heels and her ey[es] glowing luminously. And Michae[l] the Archangel asks her: "Where are you going?" "I departed to [sne]ak into the house like a snake, like a serpent, and like a four-leg creat[ure - - -] I bring calamities on women, I make them suffer in their heart, and milk [- - -] scare the masters of the hou[se]. [I bri]ng destruction. I make infants [- - -] and again I make them well again [- - -] of her." [And] she [hears from him]: "Petaxarea, reveal your tric[ks, because] the holy Mary bore the Word of Trut[h]." "[I departed] to mis[l]ead [h]er, but she was not misled [- - -]" [Michae]l the Archangel charged her and [- - -] from the right locks of her hair. And Micha(e)l the Archangel com[m]ands her: "Confess [m]e, in wh[ic]h G(o)d you believe and [- - -] whence ha[ve you got] the power [- - -], so that you cannot escape from [- - -] of G(o)d, of Ioan(n)es [- - -] G(o)d told me not to let you go and [- - -]" (...) the spirit and says to the Archa(n)gel: "(I swear) by the ey[e] of [the w]hales and by the high arm, that I'm saying the truth [- - -] I'm not lying, if someone can, let him note down [- - -]" beautiful [- - -] "G(o)d told me [no]t harm the servant of G(o)d Ioannes' [- - -] Listen, her 1st, first, name is Gelos, the 2nd [- - - the 3rd - - -]ezos, the 4th Areane (= Ariane?), the fifth Aleotos, the sixth Arean[- - - the seven]th Mmarmaren, the eight Salameane (= Salamiane?), the ninth E[- - -, the t]enth Gymin, the eleventh Emabezos, the twelfth Tanab[- - - - -] The exorcism of the Archangel against gelodes: "I e[xo]rc[ise you - - - ] by the almighty G(o)d and by the curt[ain] of th[e a]ltar. I exorcise you by the [- - -. I exor]cise you by the 4 messengers (?) [..] by Enoch and Elisha and Is[aiah (?) - - -] by all [- - -] I exo(rcise) you, the murder[ers - - -] devil [- - -] freed from the Earth by [- - -] I exorcise you the 4 iron pillars [- - - - -] which support the footstool of G(o)d the Master, praising and singing: "Holy, holy, holy L(or)d Sabaoth", and you, who are the Master, free your servant Ioannes, from the evil and imp[u]re spirit and from the gelodes and from every diabolic phantom, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." "I, Ioannes, invoked, and said, and show me the chief angels who every moment say 'Hol[y]!' [- - -] in front of G(o)d.'

Side B: '[- - -] sa[ying]: “Holy!” [- - -] Our[i]el, Raphael [- - -] them one by one on [the day (?) - - -] and I will redeem you and you will praise (him?) yourself [- - -] I summon you, holy angels of G(o)d, and th(ousands) of archa[ngels - - -] from G(o)d, come and sa[v]e the servant of G(o)d Ioannes from the evil and imp[u]re spirit and from every diabolic phantom, and I will praise you for my life (?). +++'

Text: Giannobile 2004, modified. Translation: P. Nowakowski, E. Rizos.

Charm 2:

καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Μιχα[ὴ]-
λ ὁ ἀρχάγγελος· ποῦ πορεύῃ; ἀπε-
κρίθη τõ πνεῦμα καὶ λέγει τῳ·
ἀρχάγγελε, ἐγὼ ἀπέρχομαι εἰσ̣ε[λ-]
θεῖν κτλ.

'and the Archangel Micha[e]l asks her: "Where are you going?" The spirit answers and says to the Archangel: "I departed to sn[e]ak into, etc.'

Text: Giannobile, Jordan 2006, 84, no. 13. Translation: P. Nowakowski, E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E01318

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181 Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033 Ouriel, the Archangel : S00770 Raphaēl, the Archangel : S00481 Enoch, the seventh Patriarch of the Book of Genesis : S00762 Elijah, Old Testament prophet : S00217 Isaiah, Old Testa

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ Μαρία Ουρ[ι]ηλ Ῥαφαήλ Ενοχ Ηληα Ησ[αηα]

Image Caption 1

From: Giannobile 2004, plate I.

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

600

Evidence not after

800

Activity not before

600

Activity not after

800

Place of Evidence - Region

Aegean islands and Cyprus

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Trikomo

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

Trikomo Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Miracles

Exorcism

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people Children Women Demons

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Other

Source

Charm 1 is written on both sides of a lead leaf (H. 0.215 m; W. 0.149 m), unearthed in the 1930s during the excavations near the Christian basilica in Trikomo (northeastern Cyprus). Housed in the Archaeological Museum in Nikosia (Cyprus); inv. 1939.IV-3.1. First edited by Sergio Giannobile in 2004. The original spelling of the charm is very poor. Despite Giannobile's attempt to improve it, the meaning of some passages is still obscure. For the original transcription of the Greek text, see: Giannobile 2004. Charm 2 is written on both sides of a lead tablet of unknown origin, now kept in a private collection, and said to have been found somewhere in northern Cyprus. It was seen by D.R. Jordan in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities of the British Museum, when it was brought there by its owner for identification. Giannobile and D.R. Jordan, who edited only one paragraph of the charm in 2006, reasonably suppose that the tablet comes from Trikomo, as the phrasing is very similar to that of Charm 1, and as both texts were probably written by the same hand. As the spelling of this charm is also very poor, we offer only the standardised version. For the original Greek text, see: Giannobile, Jordan 2006, 84, no. 13. Under no 14. Giannobile and Jordan mention another unpublished tablet (H. 0.105 m; W. 0.038 m) from the Museum in Nicosia, inv. 1934.III-2.10 with "Prayers in Greek to angels for general protection".

Discussion

Charm 1 contains a Christian exorcism. The leaf, on which it is written, was probably worn by Ioannes, for whom it was made, or kept in his house. In antiquity, lead leafs and tablets were commonly used by pagans, Jews, and Christians for the production of harmful charms (defixiones), but less frequently as protective amulets (phylakteria). On the one hand, lead was a cheap, flexible metal, and it was easy to write on it. On the other hand, its colour and coldness were associated with the underworld and chthonic gods. The first paragraph contains the story of the encounter of the Archangel Michael, descending from Mount Sinai, with the demon Abyzou (Αβιζου), which is a widely known Byzantine historiola. Historiolae are a genre of narrative texts, used in a ritual context, which mirror the contemporary problems of people by showing a holy figure, miraculously coping with the same threat. Michael the Archangel and Saint *Sisinnios are the most prominent protagonists of historiolae, see: Patera 2010. The story is rendered as a dialogue between Michael and the demon, which is probably based on the Jewish dialogue between *Solomon, the Old Testament king, with the demon Obyzouth (Ὀβυζούθ), as rendered in the Testamentum Salomonis, usually dated to the 1st c. B.C. Here Michael was substituted for Solomon. In order to conquer the demon, Michael enumerates her twelve names. He also says that all demons must yield to him, as Mary had borne the Word of Truth. The dialogue is followed by the 'exorcism (ἐξορκισμός) against gelodes / Γηλοδες' by the almighty God, Enoch, Elijah, and Isaiah, the steel poles of God's throne, and the angels supporting it. Gelodes, and female entities, whose names derive from this word (Gylou/Gello, etc.), are frequent in Greek Christian demonology and folklore. Their main occupation was harming new born children. As we have learned before, one of the names of the demon Abyzou was Gelos / Γηλος, and she was likewise going to sneak into a household to attack an infant. Numerous exorcisms against such creatures are preserved in 15th-20th c. Greek manuscripts, but the epigraphical and papyrological sources prove that they were also being composed in much earlier periods. See: Patera 2010, Patera 2006/2007, Giannoblie 2004, Sorlin 1991. The text continues on Side B, where the Archangels Ouriel and Raphael, and lesser angels, are invoked. The published paragraph of Charm 2 renders part of a dialogue between Michael the Archangel and the demon Abyzou. It closely resembles the dialogue from Charm 1. Dating: The editors dated the charms to 7th/early 8th c., based on the forms of letters and spelling.

Bibliography

Edition: Giannobile, S., Jordan, D.R., "A lead phylactery from Colle san Basilio (Sicily)", Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 46 (2006), 84, no. 13. Giannobile, S., "Un dialogo tra l'arcangelo Michele e il demone Abyzou in un'iscrizione esorcistica cipriota", Mediterraneo antico: economie, società, culture 7/2 (2004), 727-750. Further reading: Patera, M., "Gylou, démon et sorcière du monde byzantin au monde néogrec", Revue des Études Byzantines 64/65 (2006/2007), 311-327. Patera, M., "Exorcismes et phylactères byzantins : écrire, énoncer les noms du démon", Cahiers 1 (2010). Sorlin, I., "Striges et Géloudes, histoire d'une croyance et d'une tradition", Travaux et Mémoires 11 (1991), 411-436. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 54, 1564; 56, 1836.

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