- Museum number
Roman gold amulet comprising a rectangular sheet (lamella) cut from gold foil, with sixteen lines of incised text along the short axis. 12 magical characters on lines 1-3 are followed by the main text on lines 3 - 16 in Greek cursive writing. The text is apparently a charm to ensure safe childbirth for Fabia, daughter of Terentia. The lamella is complete, though with extensive rolling creasing and post-depositional crumpling.
- Production date
Height: 63 millimetres
Weight: 1.49 grammes
Width: 28 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- 'This is another gynaecological amulet.... the Greek is post-Classical, and is preceded by two rows of magical 'characters' (elaborated letters) and six magical 'names', great words of power. The concluding phrase has a 'Christian' ring, but this is misleading: trhe words are often found in non-Christian magical papyri. The bearer once again is identified by material lineage, and the charm is preoccupied with health, but this time it is specific, to ensure an easy childbirth. It emboides the popular belief that the embryo was active, the womb passive, and that the unborn child understandably resisted being born. The ancient gynaecologist Soranus, in his own scientific and very practical treatment of difficulties in childbirth, allows the use of amulets: the have no direct effect, he says, but they may be good for the patient's morale.' (Tomlin 2018, 315-6)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2021-2022 25 Sep – 08 Oct, China, Suzhou Museum, 'Rome: City & Empire'
2021 13 Feb-15 Aug, Belgium, Tongeren, Gallo-Romeins Museum, 'Rome; City & Empire'
2018-2019 20 Sep-04 Feb, Canberra, National Museum of Australia, 'Rome; City &Empire'
2018 23 Feb – 22 Apr, Nashville, Frist Art Museum, 'Rome; City &Empire'
2015 30 May – 13 Sep, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum, Empire: Roman Power and People
2015 24 Jan – 10 May, Dundee, McManus Galleries, Empire: Roman Power and People
2014 20 Sep – 2015 4 Jan, Leeds City Museum, Empire: Roman Power and People
2014 17 May – 31 Aug, Coventry, The Herbert, Empire: Roman Power and People
2014 1 Feb – 27 Apr, Norwich Castle Museum, Empire: Roman Power and People
2013 21 Sep – 2014 12 Jan, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Empire: Roman Power and People
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Treasure/PAS number: 2007T1 (Treasure number)
Treasure/PAS number: BERK-0B6771 (PAS Database number)