|Title:||Magical Signs: An extraordinary phenomenon or just business as usual? – Analysing decoration patterns of magical gems|
|Conference Publication:||In: K. Endreffy, Árpád M. Nagy, Jeffrey Spier (Hrsg.), Magical Gems in their Contexts, Rom 2019, 59-84.|
|Download the full paper|
Magical Signs: An extraordinary phenomenon or just business as usual? – Analysing decoration patterns of magical gems, in: K. Endreffy, Árpád M. Nagy, Jeffrey Spier (Hrsg.), Magical Gems in their Contexts, Rom 2019, 59-84.
The paper is focused on a new discovery of a rare repetitive sequence of ancient magical signs inscribed on three stone artefacts from Pergamon. The results of a new analysis lead to a re-interpretation of the artefacts and contribute in two ways to the research in late antique ritual practice: They enrich our fragmentary knowledge of the writing practice of magical signs and provide new information about the transmission of texts inscribed on artefacts. The paper is structured as follows: I will first provide a short overview of the occurrence and application of magical signs in antiquity. This will be followed by a summary of the earlier description and interpretation of the three textual stone artefacts. Based especially on the analysis of the sequences of magical signs these interpretations will then be refuted step by step and re-evaluated, leading to a new reconstruction of the entire inscribing process. Subsequently alternative interpretations of the stone artefacts will be outlined in brief. The final conclusion includes a discussion of present interpretations of ancient magical signs.
Keywords: Magical signs, Magical artefact, Pergamon, Charactêres, Late Antiquity.
Table of Contents
1. Magical Signs
2. The Pergamon objects
3. The three stone artefacts from Pergamon
4. Description of the stones
5. Refutation of Wünsch´s statements
5.1 Do all three artefacts belong to the same stone?
5.2 Are the inscriptions on all three top sides as well as on the three bottom sides
5.3 Were all three slices copied from one lost original?
6. Alternative interpretations of the stone artefacts
7. How can the new discoveries enrich the fragmentary knowledge of ancient
8. Summary and Conclusion