Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 22 October 2019

Amuletlocked

  • Sian Jay

Extract

Object worn or placed somewhere special in the belief that it has magico-religious powers, such as to protect against danger, cure disease, give strength or promote good fortune. In this sense it is more or less synonymous with ‘talisman’. Amulets are commonly worn as jewellery or carried within the clothing, but they may also be incorporated into such objects as weapons or placed within buildings or near crops. They have been treated as goods to trade in several cultures. A charm (i.e. magical formula) may be recited over an amulet, which may then itself be referred to as a charm. The term ‘amulet’ also denotes a medical or prophylactic treatment and a substance used in medicine.

Scholarly views on how and why amulets are perceived by their users to have power include the theory of ‘sympathetic magic’ based on similarity and contiguity. The perception here would be that like produces like—that intrinsically connected things act on each other even if the contact is broken. ...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.