The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 175.



of the deity, rather than a definitely monotheistic belief.57 In the highly syncretistic period to which our amulets belong it may also remind the hearer that the god so acclaimed is one, though known by many names, like Isis in Lucius' famous prayer, or in the “Praises” known from inscriptions and papyri. Εἷς θεὸς Σάραπις is attested, but apparently only once;58 but Εἷς Ζεὺς Σάραπις is very common. Sometimes it accompanies a head of Sarapis, as on a sard in the British Museum and a lead petalon in the Borgia collection;59 on another London specimen the legend encircles a lion-headed snake;60 still another, a paste cameo of different-colored layers, has no design.61 On this last the acclamation Ζεὺς Σάραπις is followed by the prayer ἵλεως τ῱ φοροῦντει. Passages in Aelius Aristides show that similar acclamations might be addressed to Asklepios — εἷς Ἀσκληπιός, or Εἷς Ζεὺς Ἀσκληπιός.62 A few εἷς formulas addressed to other divinities — Helios, Mithra, Men, Aion — have been collected by Peterson.63

The most interesting among these last is an often discussed amulet in the British Museum.64 It is a heliotrope of triangular outline; the shape is significant. The obverse shows a falcon-headed god, Horus, seated facing a seated goddess with the head of a frog. She would be taken for Hekt, who has a frog's head, but for the inscription on the reverse, which identifies her as Hathor. Above is a winged uraeus holding an ankh in the loop of its tail. The inscription on the reverse reads

εἷς Βαιτ, εἷς Αθωρ, μία τῶν βία, εἷς δὲ Ακωρι·
Χαῖρε πάτερ κόσμου, χαῖρε τρίμορφε θεός.

Bait is the hawk, hence Horus; Athor is Hathor, Akori (Coptic achōri, serpent) is a serpent goddess, Buto, according to Spiegelberg (perhaps rather Uatchet, goddess of Buto). A strangely assorted triad, evidently united in a dogma of some school of Hellenistic-Egyptian theology. Here, then, we have an approach toward a trinitarian monotheism; for as Spiegelberg rightly holds, μία βία, “one is their power,” includes Achori also, though for metrical reasons the clause is introduced before its logical position. But the monotheism, if it be such, is indicated by πάτερ κόσμου, which refers to a creator (conceived in that capacity as masculine), rather than by the triune character of the group, for other triads were doubtless constructed. Yet even belief in a cosmic parent and creator does not necessarily imply monotheism. In general, one must say of all the pagan εἷς formulas that a strict



57 A typical example occurs in P. Oxy. 1382, after the narrative of a miracle worked by Sarapis.

58 On a bronze lamella reported by Visconti, IG XIV, 2413, 2; see Drexler, Woch. Klass. Phil., 1886, 1435.

59 B. M. 56445; Museo Borgiano, p. 430, 3.



62 Aristides, Or. 50, 50 (ed. Keil), ad fin.; cf. 47, 45, ad fin.; 47, 78.

63 Peterson, op. cit., pp. 238, 266–269.

64 B. M. 56001. Discussed by Spiegelberg, ARW 21 (1922), 225–227, and Gressmann, Die orientalischen Religionen im hellenistisch-römischen Zeitalter (Leipzig, 1930), pp. 50–55, with references to earlier writings. In both places an illustration is shown, but not a satisfactory one.




Last modified: 2012-10-30 20:01:31
Link: classics.mfab.hu/talismans/pandecta/1620