In Chapter 1, "Amuletic
Manuscripts," the author discusses two texts: the Razon de Amor, and the Cantigas de Santa Maria.
One of the most common amuletic
symbols is the hamsa.
Thus, in addition to spirit beings in fields of interaction and agency, considerations of complex action need to include multiple amuletic
devices such as masks, costumes, activated packets of herbal and esoteric medicines, horns, fly-whisks, and even energy-charged musical instruments.
Their topics include the medium matters: materiality and metaphor in some Latin curse tablets, phallic magic: a cross-cultural approach to Roman phallic small finds, victory of good over evil: amuletic
animal images on Roman engraved gems, and the archaeology of ritual in the domestic sphere: case studies from Karanis and Pompeii.
Edwards, Oracular Amuletic
Decrees of the Late New Kingdom (London: British Museum Press, 1960), 57.
He explores the reasons behind the substantial size of the Torah in synagogue settingsa"a""the rabbis effectively turned a 'book,' a text to be read, into a cult object to be revered" -- and notes how the reverence given to it resulted in a near magical aura, with some medieval communities said to treat their scrolls as though they possessed "amuletic
What is the amuletic
power of stamps, as opposed to actual amulets, and can they convey an aura of auspiciousness to a letter to which they are affixed?
Although such measures were a way of generating funds for the rapidly depleting papal treasury, the issuance of this amuletic
indulgence ticket for protection against "falling-sickness" (i.e., epilepsy) is of special significance for Leo's healing propaganda.
(30) Written charms and textual amulets in particular "had special cachet in non- or semi-literate circles, and 'words of power' accrued further power from being esoteric." (31) Although there was a continuous oral tradition of charms throughout the Middle Ages, increased lay literacy and production of vernacular translations of written collections of verbal charms, amuletic
texts, and magical recipes in the later Middle Ages made them more readily available to the nobility and other educated members of the laity.
(24) Examples of this genre might include bawdy and suggestive ballads such as The Beautiful Muff, gruesome accounts of crime such as A full, true, & particular Account of a most cruel and barbarous MURDER, and superstitious amuletic
texts such as A copy of a letter written by our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, which promised their owners special protections from disaster.
Much of the jewellery, which is believed to have originated from Nizwa, Muttrah and Rustaq, is decorated with coins, gold leaf, coral and glass beads, and with several amuletic
pieces incorporating elaborate Quranic calligraphic pendants.
Not only was the text condemned by the Decretum Pseudo-Gelasianum, but the letter of Jesus to Abgar also inspired its widespread apotropaic use as an amuletic
text thought to convey to its bearer protections effected by the authentic written words of Christ, in spite of the Church's repeated efforts to stamp out the use of amuletic
texts among clergy and laity alike.