Monday, April 30, 2007

Greco-Roman Six Pointed Stars

Greco-Roman Six Pointed StarsDr. Ze’ev Goldmann showed me a few amulets with the shape of six pointed stars in Erwin R. Goodenough’s monumental book, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period, Volume three, Pantheon Books, 1953, New York. The photo in this case is taken from a drawing of A. F. Gori, thesaurus. Gemmarum Antiquarum, Florence, 1750., I, plates cxciii, cxciv. It is one of more than thousand charms and amulets in Goodenough’s book. It is one of few amulets on which six pointed stars appear.
We see it here three times on the obverse and five times on the reverse. Goodenough describes these as stars but doesn’t pay attention to the fact that these are SIX POINTED STARS. He says this amulet is “only possibly Jewish” but since there are a few more amulets with these Jewish stars from the Greco-Roman Period, we might conclude that Jews knew this shape in that period, which might be previous to other six pointed star artifacts that are mentioned in the history of this emblem.

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