Rolled Up Silver Tablet with Exorcistic Inscription “Phylactery”

Culture: Greek
Period: 3rd-5th century A.D.
Material: Silver
Dimensions: 3.3 cm x 7.4 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 2469
Provenance: From an old Munich private collection, acquired prior to 1980.
Condition: Intact
Description: Rolled up, silver inscribed table with a Greek magic inscription. The so-called “phylactery” was rolled up by its owner and worn in a box as an amulet, or mounted at an entrance to keep demons away. The inscription is exorcistic, it calls God and at the same time conjures the demons to let go from the wearer. The fact that phylacteries were rolled up was important because the letters were not visible to avoid that they lose their power. This concept is common for the use of magical stories where power of the names only remained powerful when they were not read. See for the type and content: David R. Jordan und Roy D. Kotansky, “Two Phylacteries from Xanthos”, in “Revue Archéologique Nouvelle Série”, Fasc. 1, 1996, pages 161-174. Possibly from Asia Minor.