me to use a photograph of it (D. 104
). The stone is smaller than mine, but the differences in the design are very slight. This amulet also has πέπτε on the reverse, with two of the usual Chnoubis signs.
This type has affinities with the two other principal classes of digestive amulets, the ibis tied to the altar and the Chnoubis snakes. The small worms or snakes that are barely suggested in the field of the ibis amulets are here more distinctly indicated, and other hints of the wading bird's value as a destroyer of vermin are here present in the forms of the scorpions and the larger snakes beside the altar. The symbol on the reverse is a link with the Chnoubis stones. Here, as in the ibis amulets, the voracity of the bird is taken as good magic for a weak digestion; and the stories about the long life of the phoenix suggest a natural reason for its use in medical magic. The type just described is to be seen in a somewhat simplified form in two specimens belonging to Mr. Seyrig. One of these (D. 105
), a narrow rectangle of haematite, has lost splinters from both sides, but the design is little injured. There is no altar, the phoenix standing upon the crocodile. The beetle and the birds are placed as before, the scorpions are opposite the body of the phoenix, and the snakes are opposite its legs. Reverse, πέπτε. The length of the phoenix's neck and legs is even more exaggerated than on my stone.
The other Seyrig amulet (D. 106
), again a tall narrow oval (haematite), shows only the long-necked, long-legged bird standing on a scorpion, the tail of which, prolonged unnaturally, extends half way up the left side of the stone. The same inscription, πέπτε, is cut on the back.
A haematite in the Cesnola collection (D. 102
) is evidently closely related to the type in my collection and to the Sarrafian stone.41
Though found in Cyprus it probably came from Syria, like the others that resemble it. It differs from them in two points. Instead of the phoenix, a human figure with a lion's head, surrounded by seven rays, stands on the altar; and the crocodile at the bottom is so roughly engraved that it might be taken for a beetle with extended wings. The inscription on the reverse is much worn, and some letters are uncertain. I read it τ.αχεταδεχ.πεπτε. The last word marks it as a digestive amulet.
The use of amulets for the digestion was not confined to the three types just described. It is well known that a god who had proved his power by answering the prayers of his worshipers was often appealed to for aid in matters outside his usual province. Just so an amuletic design believed to possess a general protective value might be marked by an inscription to show that some particular benefit was expected from it. The following examples show that various types were worn to aid the digestion or relieve distress in the stomach.
B. M. 56439: στομάχου, “for the stomach,” is carved on the reverse of a type that is very common, especially in Syria, representing a horseman spearing a figure, usually clearly
41 Metropolitan Museum, Handbook of the Cesnola Collection, 4299. The author takes it to be Mithraic, but there is no evidence to support that attribution. The figure on the altar is dcscribed as human, no mention being made of the leonine head.