Ancient Greek Gems as Vehicles for Healing, Protection, Cursing, and Erotic Magic

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During the Roman Imperial period Greeks began to inscribe gems with various texts that reveal them to be curative and protective amulets -- no surprise there -- as well as vehicles for cursing and erotic conquest.  This second class of gems, apparently worn on the body of the person who is launching the curse or erotic spell, is itself an invention of the period that confuses our understanding of amulets and innovates in the types of images it uses, most notably an image of the eagle feasting on the liver of the bound Prometheus.  This presentation will include color photographs taken over the past year or so at the British Museum and various smaller museums in central Germany and in Madrid.