A CONTRIBUTION TO THE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE POSSIBLE ORIGIN OF CERTAIN PIECES OF JEWELLERY SHAPED LIKE BOOK COVERS. SOME SUGGESTIONS TO ZDENĚK KLANICA’S ARTICLE
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The present article is a response to Zdeněk Klanica’s study published in the Festschrift dedicated to Professor Zdeněk Měřínský on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday (2010). It deals with archaeological objects which have been an issue in Czech historiography, small pendants in the shape of a book cover, made of gilded bronze or silver, some richly decorated with granulation and filigree, which are here called amulets. It is argued that these objects are exclusively the expression of personal faith in the widespread amuletic magical power attributed to Sacred Books by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The objects discussed used to have an apotropaic, as well as a devotional, value for those carrying them, as they were designed for private use and contained semi-canonical religious texts and formulas or had a design with a magical character. These examples could be dated back to the period before iconoclasm; it could therefore be inferred that, in the post-iconoclastic period (in the 9th or 10th century), they were transported to the outskirts of the Byzantine Empire as objects which had become out of fashion.
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