Project: 10. Churches and religions in Europe.
Scope: Secondary Education
Resource type: pdf
Owner: Arqueological National Museum of Spain (MAN) (Modernalia)
Abstract: This article presents the collection of late medieval and Renaissance amulets with magic squares from the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid, virtually unpublished to date. The planetary amulets depict various Greco-Roman deities syncretised with Hebrew angels (e.g. Venus-Anael or Jupiter Satchiel). The backs are occupied by magic squares, each symbolising the corresponding planet through a numerical combination. The pentagon amulets show on the obverse the face of Christ inserted in this geometrical figure. Their reverses are again occupied by magic squares, although the numerical values have been replaced by variations of the Name of God in Hebrew letters. This set offers an interesting insight into little-studied beliefs and practices that combine Renaissance symbolism, Hebrew tradition and classical heritage.