A Concise Introduction to Ancient Magical Gems

Concise Introduction Ancient Magical Gems

The book will be published in December 2020.

About the Book

Magical gems constitute the largest group of ancient magical artefacts in the archaeological record. Their number is estimated between 3000 and 5000. Yet the origin of most of these gems is unknown, they were acquired through the antiquities market and usually no information concerning the archaeological contexts is provided. Many of the gems classified as „ancient“ actually are either products of the 16th-19th century or modern forgeries.

This book provides a substantial introduction to the body of ancient magical gems, including their inscriptions, the objectives of their owners, and – as far as can be reconstructed – their ritual embedding. One chapter focuses on gems being inscribed with magical signs. An extra chapter addresses post-antique gems and modern forgeries and how to identify them.

Each chapter of the book is illustrated with examples, including step by step readings of selected inscriptions and their interpretation. The book comprises a comprehensive compilation of online as well as offline resources for further reading.

The gems introduced here are dated to the first seven centuries, the geographical scope is mainly determined by the borders of the Roman Empire.


Keywords: Magical signs, Magical artefacts, Ancient Magic, Late Antiquity

Table of Contents

Coming soon