INVOCATION TO THE GOD PHOEBUS APOLLO

MS 5236
MS Short Title INVOCATION TO THE GOD PHOEBUS APOLLO 
Text INVOCATION TO THE GOD PHOEBUS APOLLO WHO RULES OVER MAN, POURING OUT LIBATIONS TO HIM, THAT HE MAY TAKE UP ARMS AND GO THROUGH THE ENEMY'S ARMY TO FREE OR DISCHARGE THE PEOPLE; IN HEXAMETER
Description Printing in Greek on gold, Euboia, Greece, or Knidos, Turkey, ca. 6th c. BC, 1 lamella with rounded corners, 2,8x9,0x0,1 cm, 6 lines in fine Greek capitals of Euboia or Knidos type.
Provenance 1. Edith Horsley, London (1965-2000); 2. Pars Antiques, London, Dec. 2001.
Commentary This is the only gold example of amulets known generically as ephesia grammata, for lead ones, see Kotansky 111-112. References to them in Greek comedies and other literary texts, suggest that they were mass produced and frequently worn. This is the only surviving example that actually has been printed and not incised, directly into the soft metal. The thin sheet of gold was placed over the prototype with raised letters, and pressure applied to the upper side of the gold in order to print the letters in blind. Normally printing refers to use of paper or vellum and ink, or without ink (blind printing), applying blocks or movable types of wood, stone or metals. If the definition of blind printing also includes soft materials like wet clay, lead or gold, in addition to paper, this lamella appears to be the earliest printing in Europe. The above information is partly kindly supplied by Dr. Dominic Montserrat.
Published Herbert E. Brekke: Analyse der Herstellungstechnik der Inschrift auf einem Goldamulett in der Schoyen Collection (London/Oslo). Technische Bericht, Regensburg 2010. 5 pp (E-publication)
Place of origin Greece or Turkey
Dates 6th c. BC

Location