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Roman crystal ball with Greek palindrome


Roman crystal ball with Greek palindrome
Roman crystal ball with Greek palindrome

Roman crystal ball with the Greek palindrome – the word sounding the same, read from left to right and from right to left. The object is in the collection of National Museum of Denmark.

Dated to the 3rd century CE. The artefact was found in Arslev (on the island of Funen, Denmark) in 1820. The crystal ball was inside the grave of a woman from around 4th century CE, with jewellery and other fine goods.

The inscription ABLANATHANALBA (in Greek ΑΒΛAΘANAΛBA) means “You are our father”. The ablana/analba spell was known in the Mediterranean basin, as evidenced by the found charms in various parts of the region. The record identifies with the Persian deity Abrasax and is associated with the famous phrase “abracadabra”.

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