Year: 100 - 200 d.C.
Dimension: Higth 1,8 cm; Lenght 2,3 cm
Greco-Roman II-III Century A.D. Magical gemstone, green eliotropia oval intaglio, engraved with the figure of a winged Nike riding a creature formed by the forepart of s lion, the tail of a crocodile and the legs of a bird.
Likely made in Alexandria (Egypt) home of the Gnostic sect of early Christianity who delved into the mystical and magic realms. The use of scratching diagrams in the belief to influence the course of events, pretending to use mysterious or supernatural forces, is as old as human history. There was a time when magicians used to inscribe hermetic symbols on their talismans and amulets. Sometimes those jewels featured whole series of hermetic, as well as mythological symbolism, usually recognized as alchemical foundations. Since this period corresponded with gnostic syncretism, namely from about one century B.C to fourth century A.D. those magic jewels were known under the “Gnostic Gems” definition. In spite of all the inscribed symbolism, Gnostic Gems never really had any gnostic dimension. They rather were magic gems in the full meaning of the word. Amulets and talismans intended to bring good luck. To be more precise, those pieces of jewelry were expected to give protection against evil, danger, or disease. Gnosis, as knowledge of spiritual mysteries, was in this case only involved as a mere knowledge of symbolic iconographies and names to be inscribed.