The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 102.

madness. A few other divine or demonic names are invoked, and in a section where the text is somewhat uncertain, Alexandra seems to seek their protection against pollution or poisoning that may come through a kiss, a greeting, a glance of the eye, through eating or drinking, in any one of the actions that make up her daily life. At the end, she calls upon these “holy and mighty and powerful names” to protect her from every demon, male or female, and from all troubling by demons in the night or the day. After the common interjection “Now, now, quickly, quickly,” she concludes piously, after all this demonic medley, with the prayer, “The One God and his Christ, help Alexandra. ”
The text is an important monument of superstitious syncretism: the demonic names alone offer the curious much material for study. The length of the document puts it on the same footing as many of the phylacteries that are preserved on papyrus. Compared with it, the inscriptions of the gem amulets, the chief material of this study, are the merest compendia of protective formulas. To say that this amulet and that published by Froehner would repay further examination in no way reflects upon the scholarship of the two editors, who have performed difficult tasks with great success. But experience shows that the most skilful reader may go astray if he is not prepared for what he sees in his document; and our knowledge of magical idiom and the peculiarities of late Greek has been so greatly enlarged in recent years that there are few older publications of magical material that do not need correction here and there.

Last modified: 2012-10-01 10:44:11