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Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
 
 
 
 
 
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SALAMIS

SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
page 93

A circular pendant of a similar nature (fig. 209) is inscribed with the Greek letters ΥEIO or ΥEIOΥ. In a tomb at Salamis I found an amulet of glass, in the shape of a rectangle,with the corners cut off obliquely (fig. 210). This has an inscription in five lines of three letters each upon its face, in irregularly formed Greek capital letters:—ΙΑΩ . ΜΙΧΑΗΛ . ΡΑΦΑΗΛ. Some of these letters are of peculiar shape, the Ρ and Φ of the latter word particularly so.

1 Page 32. 2 Page 108.

It has been considered that this object formed part of the necklace of an infant, as an amulet, in accordance with the custom of the Gnostics in the earliest days of primitive Christianity. The three names here recorded are of potency among the votaries of that deluded and degraded mysticism. 1, Jao, or, perhaps, Jehovah; 2, Michael, the Archangel; and 3, Raphael, the Archangel. At a late period of the Byzantine Empire, engraved stones were employed for various purposes as talismans, love philtres, the cure of diseases, the averting of misfortunes, and the neutralising of the effects of the evil eye. Particular properties and virtues were attributed to each variety of hard stone, and the inscriptions contained, in Greek or magical characters, the names of the iEons, and other powers of the Gnostic and Basilidian sects. The god Abraxas, or Jao, here addressed by name, is represented on some stones as a giant armed with a spear and shield, having his head like a cock, and his legs like snakes.

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

TERRA-COTTA.

STATUES AND STATUETTES—PORTRAITS—GROTESQUES —CARICATURES— FIGURES OF BOYS.

HE ancient terra-cotta remains which I obtained from Salamis, and other Cypriote sites, are exceedingly numerous. They may he divided into several classes for the sake of description and illustration. I begin with Statues and Statuettes. The greater number of these objects werediscovered in tombs, and they consist of effigies of the gods and goddesses; portraits of iconic figures, which are gracefully draped in toga and tunic; and effigies, about one hundred in all, of females, some of whom carry instruments of music, including lyres and a flute. One of this class bears a tambourine in one hand and a dove in the other. Terra-cotta figures conceived in the Assyrianstyle are naturally not so frequently found as those in the Greek or native Cypriote styles; but there is in the collection the upper part of afigure of a man in the Assyrian style, wearing a conical head-dress, orhelmet, with tasselled ear-flaps, a reeded gorget round the throat, and a fringed cape of peculiar shape (fig. 211). Another specimen of this Assyrian or Egyptian style is the upper part of a female, with closely-curled hair hanging down in a stiff and formal manner on either side of the neck Fig. 213 represents a terracotta statuette of the Youthful Hercules, standing upon a narrow plinth, and holding in the right hand a club, his usual and well-known

 

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