The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 201.


Δαμναμενεύςsis is typical of a group of magical names that are more often used in connection with the sun than elsewhere, but also appear in various other associations. Damnameneus is one of the Idaean Dactyloi,81 and his name is one of the Ephesia grammata.82 The little-known Pythagorean Androkydes referred the name to ἥλιος ὁ δαμάζων, and some modern writers treat it without question as a solar epithet. The variety of the amuletic designs with which the word is found give reason to think that in the period with which we are concerned the name was not confined to a particular god or to a special purpose, but was merely a word of power applicable to any situation. It is cut on the reverse of an Aphrodite drying her hair, of an Eros with bow, arrow, and torch, of an Osiris mummy guarded by a serpent, and (along with the other words of the original Ephesia grammata) on the reverse of a solar anguipede with the head of a cock.83 It is also written beside a figure of the Headless Demon which is used in a praxis to obtain a prophecy.84

Νιχαροπληξ has even more pronounced solar affinities. It occurs in an invocation of Helios given in the great Paris papyrus, on Mithraic amulets, and with the solar anguipede.85 But it is also found on the reverse of an Anubis amulet, similarly placed on a stone representing a trophy over a thunderbolt, under a human-headed cross, perhaps a Gnostic design, and once with no accompanying figure.86 Even if the word could be proved to have originated in the sun religion, it is clear that it developed into a generalized word of power.

The same judgment seems to hold for the very common words ακραμμαχαμαρι and σεσενγενβαρφαραγγης. Papyrus Mimaut gives the former as the name of the sun in the third hour;87 and, in view of the constantly encroaching solar syncretise of the time, it is likely enough that many amulets inscribed with this word may be interpreted as solar. Yet it is strange to find it cut on the bevel of a stone that has Hecate as the obverse type.88 It is true that the reverse shows a beetle-bodied demon, and the scarab beetle is a solar emblem.

Σεσενγενβαρφαραγγης (one or more of the middle syllables often omitted) occurs in two definitely solar passages, invocations of Horus-Apollo, and under a lion-headed god whom there is reason to interpret as a sun-god.89

82 Ibid., 5, 45, 2; Hesych. s.v. Ἐφέσια γράμματα.

83 B. M. 56182, 56293, 56412; Southesk N 5; cf. Museo Borgiano, p. 453, 16.

84 PGM II, 168.

85 PGM IV, 1280; Cumont, Monuments, II, 450, 9 (fig. 401); Barry, in Ann. du serv., 7, 248, 9; Thorvaldsen Museum, 1863; B. M. 56404.

86 Thorvaldsen Museum, 1870; Chabouillet 2222; B. M. 56192 (cut in King, Gnostics, Pl. C 1); B. M. 56319. In Wünsch, Antike Fluchtafeln, 4, 2–3, Neicharoplex is invoked as the god who holds power over the regions of the earth (or, under the earth, χθονίων τόπων).

87 PGM III, 508. The curse tablet cited in the preceding note invokes him as “lord of the heavenly firmaments.”

89 PGM II, 108, IV, 1025; D. 233.

Last modified: 2012-11-01 21:28:33