150 dpi image of T.Duk.inv. 172 dpi image of T.Duk.inv. 1
SILVER TABLET WITH INCANTATION 24.7 cm. x 15.3 cm. Second century? Italy? The incantation written in Greek and Latin letters on this silver plate is not intended to make sense. The letters are copied by the scribe from an original that would not have been appreciably more coherent. The text itself has been traced to a fourth century B.C. hexameter text now in the Getty Museum. Further uses of the formulae are found in a Cologne and in a Michigan text, both of the fourth century. The text must have been popular, but its logical sense was long since lost by the time the Duke version was inscribed. That the text was inscribed on this large piece of silver suggests its use was cultic rather than individual. There is a hole in the top of the piece which indicates it was fastened to a wall or other surface. The text is lightly inscribed on the silver, hardly more than scratched onto the surface. There are 10 lines, 9 of them full and the tenth consisting of only 7 letters. The blank space after this last is filled with two lines of nonalphabetic scratches. The first line is written in larger letters than the subsequent lines. The lines tend to diminish in size as the text proceeds. Some of the lines are written between ruled lines,i.e. lines 2, 3 and 4. Between lines 5 and 6 there is a ruled line which serves as the bottom line for line 5 and the top for line 6. There is another ruling under line 6 and then no further ruling. The letter forms, both Greek and Latin, are rather rude capitals and resemble epigraphic hands of the second century. They resemble Latin hands more than Greek hands of the same period. Descriptive database available in repository.
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