The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 44.



by examples drawn from mythology and poetry. In the important magical papyrus at Oslo there is a charm to be used by jealous lovers or husbands in which we read μεινάτω μοι ἁγνὴ ὡς ἡ Πηνελόπη Ὀδυσσεῖ, “Let her keep chaste for me as did Penelope for Odysseus.”101 A stranger use of literary allusion is to be found on a stone in the British Museum which I interpret as a kind of defixio intended to bring about the death of an enemy. It is a rather well cut banded jasper with the same design on both sides, a body in the wrappings of a mummy.102 An inscription on the obverse reads Ἡμέρας γόνος Μέμνων κοιμᾶται, on the reverse it is Φιλίππας γόνος Ἀντίπατρος κοιμᾶται. Allowing for the not unnatural substitution of Ἡμέρας for Ἕω,103 it is clear that the maker of the amulet is virtually saying, “As Memnon, son of Dawn, lies dead, so may Antipater, son of Philippa, lie dead.” The mention of the victim's mother, rather than his father, is regular in all magical practice.



101 P. Oslo I, 289, with Eitrem's note. Since in some passages of the magical papyri (e.g. PGM XII, 372–374, cited by Eitrem) Egyptian deities are thus alluded to, it may be that the use of mythological parallels is as much Egyptian as Greek. We know that certain myths were used as magical charms, such as the story of Isis and the scorpion (Müller, 210 f.).


103 Preller-Robert, Griechische Mythologie, I, 440, 2.




Last modified: 2012-11-05 10:19:59
Link: classics.mfab.hu/talismans/pandecta/1219