Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/499

This page needs to be proofread.
443

AMULA 443 AMULETS St. Joseph's Journeymen's Union, the Saint Vincent's Society, the Catholic Guild (for master-workmen), the " r'aith and Science" I'nion, which possesses a library of over 4,000 volunies; the St. Hubert's Society, which supports a home for girls, the St. Willibrord's Society, for the distribution of good books, etc. Amsterdam lias tliree t'atholic daily papers, and, among lier famous Catholic citizens, we may name Holland's greatest poet, Vondel; in later times, Father Roothan, (Jeneral of the Society of Jesus from 1829 to ISfiS; the poet and historian Alberdingk Thijm, and the architect Cuypers. Waoknaah, Amsterdamgchr fffgrhiefifni««fn (Amsterdam, 1701-94); Van ukk Vyvkh, Gvschu-dkundige heschrijvmi/ dvr stud Amalirdam (il)i(l., 1844); WlTKAMl'. Amnlinlum in tchtUtH (ibi.l,. lS59-(i;!l; I'kh Gouv, A mtUlixlttmia ulji^l.. 1880-9U; Nierlandui Calh.ilu-a (is.sue.l by the Hintiops of the NetherlantlH. Ulrechl, 1888; with an Appen.iix: Amstelo- flamun Sacrum.!-54>; HitKi)n:.s and others, AmnU-rdam in de zcventimde eeuw (The HnRue, 1897-1900); Ai.lauI). Dc Sint Franci«cuH Xaveriug-Kerfc of dc Krijtberg te Amsterdam (2(i e<i., Amsterdam, 1904); Ilet Jaarbockje van Alberdingk Thijm (annual). Joseph Lins. Amula. See Am.. Amulet (dr., ^uXoKTiipioK; Lat., amukta), an ob- ject fjoiicrally inscribed with mysterious formula' and used l^y pagans as a pn)tcctiiin against various maladies, as well as witchcraft. Phny (XXIX, 4, 19) is the earliest writer who mentions amulets (t'enefici- orum amuteta). The derivtition of the word is doubt- ful, but it probably comes from the -Vrabic hamala, '• to carry", amulets being borne on the person. The Oriental peoples were especially addicted to super- stitious practices, and with their ab.sorption into the Roman Kmiiire the use of amulets became equally common in the West. Following the example of Moses, who sought to turn the minds of the Jews from the superstitious emblems to which they were ac- customed in I-gypt, by substituting for them symbols of an elevating character, the Church, while forbid- ding amulets, permitted the use of emblems which would remind the bearers of some doctrine of Chris- tianity. Thus St. Clement of Alexandria (Pa;d., HI,:5) recommended the u.se of such symbols as the fish, the dove, and the anclior on seals and rings. A devotional medal of leail, attributed to the fourth century, represents a martyr extended on a gridiron; one of the fifth or sixth century bears the monogram of (Jhrist and a cro.ss between the letters A and U; while a third represents the sacrifice of Abraham, ami on the reverse a father ofTering his son before the con/essu) of a martyr. Tope St. fircgory the Great sent the Lombard queen, 'Theodolinda, on the occa- sion of the birth of her son, two phi/lactcrin, one of which contained a fragment of the wood of the True Cross, the other a .sentence of the Gospel. The custom of carrying portions of the Sacred Scriptures as phylacteries is mentioned by St. Jerome and St. John Chrysostom (St. Jerome, in Matt., iv, 24; St. John Chrys., in Matt., hom., 73). Hut, es- pecially from the fourth century, when imperial favour brought large numbers into the Church, superstitious abuses in the use of devotional emblems became so common that the ecclesiastical authorities were obliged freouently to inveigh against the use of amulets. The Council of Laothcea (latter half of fourth century) prohibited ecclesiastics from mak- ing amulets and made the penalty for wearing them excommunication (canon 36). St. John Chrj-.sustom, preaching at .Vntioch, denounced as a .species of idolatry the wearing of amulets, which .seems to have been common among his auditors. St. Augustine also denounced the numerous charlatans who dis- pensed charms, and a collection of canons made by St. Ca;.sarius of Aries (d. 542), formerlv suppo.sed to have been canons of the Fourth Councd of Carthage, imposed the penalty of excommunication on tlio.se who patronized augurs (can. 89; see Hcfele, Con- ciliengesch., II, 76). From one of the sermons (P. L., XXXIX, 2272) of St. Ciesarius it appears that the dispen.sing of amulets was a regular profession; each disease had its appropriate anmlet. These and similar superstitious practices survived to some ex- tent, in one form or another, through the Middle Ages, and their suppression has always been a difficulty with which the Church ha-s had to cope. The most ancient Christian amulet known, from Hoirut, is attributeii to the .second century. It is made of gold and has a ring by which it was attached to the neck. The inscription on it, which is of more than ordinary interest, reads: " I exorcise thee, Satan (O cross purify me) in the name of the Lord the living God, that thou mayest never leave thy abode. Pro- nounced in the hou.se of her whom I nave anointed". Leclercq sees in this invocation proofs " (1 ) of belief in the virtue of the sign of the cro.ss to put demons to flight, (2) of the conferring of extremes unction, (3) ami of the use of exorcisms", whereof we have here a formula. A favourite Christian amulet in the Orient during the fourth and fifth centuries bore on one side the image of Alexander the Great. St. John Chrysostom, in one of liis /Vntioch instructions (.Vd lUuMiin., Cat., II, 5), censures the use by ('hristians of amulets with the portrait of the Mace- donian coiujueror. Several amulets of this class, in the Cabinet of Medals at Paris, show, on one side, Alexander in the character of Hercules, and, on the other, a shc-a-ss with her foal, a scorpion, and the name of Jesus Christ. An amulet in the Vatican Library with the picture of Alexander, bears on the reverse the montjgram of Our Lord. Magic nails, also, with inscriptions were interred with the dead; one of them for Christian use has the legend "ter dico, ter incanto, in signv Ueo et signv Salomonis et signv de nostra Art(e) mix". The Gnostics were especially notable for their employment of amulets; the names found most fretiuently in their invocations are Atlonai, Sabaoth, Jao, Michael, Raphael, Souriel (Uriel), and Gabriel. LEcLEKcg in Did. darch. chret. (Paris, 1905), I, 1783- 1859; Krahs, RealenciiklopMit: (FrciburK, 1882), I, 49-51; Pl-UMPTRK in Dicl.Chrisl. Aniig. (London, 1875). I. 78. sqq.; Realcncyklopiidic fiir prot. Theologie w. Kirche (Leipzig, 189(3), I. 407-J70. Maurice M. Hassett. Amulets, Use and Abuse of. — The origin of the word amulet does not seem to have been definitely established. (See Amulet.) The thing itself h:w been used as a safeguaril against mishap or ilanger, or witchcraft, and invoked as a guarantee of success in enterprises. Among the Greeks it was variou.sly known under the designations phi/laderion, pcriamma, and periapton, whilst to the .Vrabians and Persians it was familiar as talisman, possibly derivable from the Mkual, IV Century later Greek, telesma. Amulets have had quite a general vogue among all peoples of all times and have been characterized by a bewildering variety as to material, shape, and method of employment. Can-ed stones, bits of metal, figures of gods, .strips of paper, or parchment bearing enigmatic phrases, blessings, anil maledictions have done ser'ice in this way. Among the Kgj-ptians the primacy among amulets was held by the scarab. This was commonly a gem made in the form of a beetle, and curiously engraved