Amulet engraved with an "orans" figure, ankh-shaped cross on reverse - ROM2010_11707_55

ROM2010_11707_55

Amulet engraved with an "orans" figure, ankh-shaped cross on reverse

Medium:Dark red stone, possibly porphyry
Geography: Attributed to Egypt
Date: about 400-600 AD
Period: Byzantine period
Dimensions:
4.4 x 3.9 cm
Object number: 949X161.22
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium
Description

The early Byzantines believed in the power of God and the saints and the skill of physicians to cure and prevent illness. At the same time there was a strong belief that magic could heal or protect a person from sickness and misfortune. These beliefs manifested themselves in a number of ways, such as the wearing of apotropaic (evil-averting) amulets and jewellery. Biblical phrases were often added to the amulets to enhance their magical powers.

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