slave an enemy.5
The papyrus charms of this kind have been collected and discussed by Hopfner, and they concern us here only when they furnish some useful illustration.6
A θυμοκάτοχον in a stricter sense, which was published by Collart in 1930,7
deserves special mention, though it is not an amulet in the ordinary meaning of the term, but rather a defixio
(κατάδεσμος) used for a special and unusual purpose.
It is a lead tablet, one of the few that are known to have come from Egypt. Its close kinship with the well-known defixionum tabellae is shown by the use of lead, the regular material for curse tablets, by the use of the verbs δέω, καταδέω (l. 34), and by the fact that it adjures the ghost of a dead man (νεκυοδαίμων) to check the anger of the person feared by the writer. This indicates that the tablet was buried in a grave, where the powerful charms inscribed on it would compel the ghost to carry out the command of the operator. Many such tablets have been found; this specimen differs from most of the others in that the writer does not demand the injury or destruction of the person named, only that his anger be restrained. This person is Paomios (or Paomis), son of Tisate, and the writer of the tablet is Origenes, son of Ioulle, also called Theodora. The actual petition of the document appears in slightly different forms. In line 4 we read κατάσχεται (l. -τε) τὴν ὀργὴν τὸν θυμὸν Παωμίου ὃν ἔτεκεν ἡ Τισαται ἤδη ἤδη ταχὺ ταχύ; “Restrain the wrath, the anger of Paomios whose mother is Tisate, now, now, quickly, quickly.” In lines 34 f., instead of κατάσχετε, the tablet gives δῆσον, καταδῆσον, “bind.” At the last repetition, lines 40–43, the language is as follows: κατάσχεται τὴν ὀργὴν τὸν θυμὸν Παώμιτος ὃν ἔτεκεν ἡ Τισατε, τὸν νοῦν τὰς φρένας, ὅπως μὴ ἀντίπῃ ἡμῖν ἐμοί τῳριγένι ὃν ἔτεκεν Ἰούλλη ἡ καὶ Θεοδώρα, ἀλλὰ εὐήκοος ἡμῶν γένηται ἤδη ἤδη ταχὺ ταχύ; “Restrain the wrath, the anger of Paomis, whose mother Tisate, his mind, his judgment, that he may not gainsay me, Origenes, whose mother is Ioulle, also called Theodora, but may readily hear us — now, now, quickly, quickly.” From this it appears that Origenes is in some way under the authority or in the power of Paomios, who might be his master, a harsh creditor, a superior in office, or possibly only a man of equal condition who had a hold on Origenes by his knowledge of some misdoing on the latter's part, and meant to denounce him. The tablet invokes Brimo (Persephone) and many demonic powers, most but not all of whose names are elsewhere attested, and employs several magical figures of a kind previously known. These details must be examined in Collart's publication. The tablet is on the whole the most important “wrath turner” that has been discovered.
Only two gem amulets belonging to this class are known to me. One of these is an inconspicuous specimen owned by the British Museum, an oval bit of greenish stone streaked with black, perhaps serpentine.8
On the obverse is a lion-headed man facing left. He wears a long tunic, reaching to the feet and girt at the waist. Seven rays project above his head. In his
6 Archiv Orientalni, 10 (1938), 128–148.
7 Rev. de Philol., 4 (1930), pp. 248–256.