Friday, June 8, 2007

Miniature bronze altar to Hecate.

This is a miniature bronze altar to Hecate for use in magic. It is from Pergamon (Pergamum) in Asia Minor, now Turkey, and dates to around 200-50 CE. You can see the real thing in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. I happen to have been to Pergamon in the last 6 months, so I'll include some images from there as well. Pergamon is a Hellenistic hilltop city which had probably the steepest theatre in the entire ancient world, you can see it here, embedded into the hillside - talk about vertigo! The second shot is taken from standing at the top of the theatre, looking down - you wouldn't want to be drunk whilst watching a play, you'd fall straight down. The next pic is a temple of the Imperial Cult on the top of the Pergamon citadel. Books were also invented in Pergamon, they couldn't get papyrus for some reason, so had to make pages out of vellum and this turned into what we know of as the book - they used to read scrolls before that you see.


Thalia said...

Wow. Just wow. I need one of those. I wonder how you use it and how you'd do the magic "on" it. You could totally build one of those. Really really cool.

Caroline Tully. said...

Yes, you could build one yourself. I reckon it worked like a 'Hekate transmitter', you put something, some 'ousia' (magickal material, the magickal link) for example on the circular bit in the middle and then after some sort of chanting or invocation asking Hecate to be present at the rite, Triple Hecate would then transmit your spell - in its spirit form - to its destination. How's that for a suggested explanation? I'm just making that up, but that's what it *looks* like it might have been used for. For information about this object it might help to look up a book called 'Mystery Religions in the Ancient World' by Joscelyn Godwin (Thames & Hudson 1981) which has a picture of the Hecate altar in it.