8 June 2001
A SYRO-BABYLONIAN INSCRIBED GOLD FOIL PHYLACTERY
Circa 3rd-5th Century A.D.
The long rectangular foil inscribed in miniscule letters with many lines of an elusive Judeo-Aramaic script, formerly scrolled and used as a personal protective amulet, some words translated as, "merciful," "place," "healing," "soul," "good luck," and "demon"
7 9/16 in. (19.2 cm) long
Purchased from Parke-Bernet in 1943. Thought to be from the collection of Henry Walters.
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Such phylacteries were rolled and placed in a small case or locket, similar to a Jewish Mezuzah. The production and use of personal protective amulets is related to that of incantation bowls and other written incantations.
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