Books Received | Published:

(1) Amulets and Superstitions: the Original Texts with Translations and Descriptions of a Long Series of Egyptian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Hebrew, Christian, Gnostic, and Muslim Amulets and Talismans and Magical Figures, with Chapters on the Evil Eye, the Origin of the Amulet, the Pentagon, the Swăstika, the Cross (Pagan and Christian), the Properties of Stones, Rings, Divination, Numbers, the Kabbâlâh, Ancient Astrology, etc (2) Le livre, de recettes d'un dabtara abyssin

Nature volume 128, pages 204205 (08 August 1931) | Download Citation



(1) BELIEF in the power of the amulet is one of the most interesting phenomena in the history of religious belief. In close alliance with ‘magic’ it appears as one of the earliest forms of man's belief in the forces which he believes to lie behind the perceptions of his senses: as the mascot it serves to testify to the last act of faith of a disintegrated religion. How closely the extremes of the scale approach one another appears in some instructions on the choice of amulets published a few years ago, in which the writer argued the possibility that there might be something in it on the analogy of wireless telegraphy. No anthropologist in search of mana in religious belief could desire a more illuminating example but after saying this we hesitate to suggest that Sir Wallis Budge himself is not guiltless of flirting with the idea that “there may be something in it”.

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