Friday, March 24, 2023
Epipompē on an Amulet
There is a good example of epipompē on a 4th century A.D. silver lamella from Beyrutus (Beirut), Labanon, now in Paris, Musée du Louvre Bj 88 (Inv. M.N.D. 274), discussed by Roy Kotansky, Greek Magical Amulets. The Inscribed Gold, Silver, Copper, and Bronze Lamellae. Part I: Published Texts of Known Provenance. Text and Commentary (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1994 = Papyrologica Coloniensia 22/1), pp. 270-300 (number 52 = The Great Angelic Hierarchy). I quote lines 79-119 from Kotansky, p. 281 (underline added):
(79) I adjure you by the Living God in Zoar of the nomadic Zabadeans, the one who thunders and lightnings, EBIEMATHALZERÔ, a new staff (?), by the one who treads, by THESTA, by EIBRADMAS BARBLIOIS EIPSATHAÔTHARIATH PHELCHAPHIAÔN that (?) all male <demons ?> and frightening demons and all bindings-spells (flee) from Alexandra whom Zoê bore, to beneath the founts and the Abyss of Mareôrth,The relevant Greek phrase (lines 93-95 on p. 279, simplified) is ὑποκάτο τῶν πηγῶν καὶ τῆς ἀβύσσου Μαρεώθ.
(95) lest you harm or defile her, or use magic drugs on her,
(97) either by a kiss, or from an embrace, or a greeting;
(100) either with food or drink;
(101) either in bed or intercourse;
(103) either by the evil eye or a piece of clothing;
(105) as she prays (?), either on the street or abroad:
(107) or while river-bathing or a bath.
(109) Holy and mighty and powerful names, protect Alexandra from every demon, male and female,
(114) and from every disturbance of demons of the night and of the day.
(116) Deliver Alexandra whom Zoe bore, now, now; quickly, quickly.
(119) One God and his Christ, help Alexandra.