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The Gnostics and Their Remains, by Charles William King, [1887], at

Plate J
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Plate J



1. This pretty design may be tersely described in a line of Manilius--

"Quadrijugis et Phœbus equis et Delia bigis."

[paragraph continues] Sol and Luna in their appropriate equipages: a heathenish device enough, but the same hand has backed their influence by the invocation, "Iao

p. 443

Sabaoth, Abraxas;" He, i.e. the living God, protect Aparastathe, the bearer of this talisman. Similar formulæ, always attached to women's names, very frequently occur.

2. The Zoroastrian Dog, of whom and whose office so much has been said in the text. The ill-cut Bird is intended for the Raven, the usual Mithraic attribute.

3. The Lion of Baal, the Syrian Sun-god; below, the Scarabæus typifying the Creative Power. The Phœnician inscription Osan ēl," God gives strength," is the name of the owner of the signet.. Lévy quotes an agate scarabæus at the British Museum exactly similar to this gem (a fine sard), a proof of the popularity of both type and name.

4. A unique talismanic device, converting a male Sphinx into a novel bird, by the addition of the legs of a crane and the tail of a scorpion. It is engraved in the Persian style: my motive for admitting it into the present class.

5. The Zodiacal Lion, guided by its astral Genius in its course through the seven planets.

6. The Sun-god, with radiated head, mounted upon a camel, typifying the East. Below is set the fire-altar of Mithraic worship. He is followed by Chanticleer, attribute of the god of Day, preceded by the Horse--his peculiar sacrifice, as Ovid tells us:--

"Placat equo Persis radiis Hyperiona cinctum,
 Ne detur Celeri victima tarda deo." (Fasti, I. 305-86.)


Next: Plate K. Mithraic (continued)